Small errors in emissions data monitoring could cost Aviation EU ETS operators over one million euros
ETS Aviation’s Aviation Footprinter software has been selected by Eurocypria for emissions reporting
Tue 6 July 2010 – Inaccuracies or errors in monitoring emissions data could lead to aircraft operators entering the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) paying more than they should for emissions and getting less than their entitlement in carbon credits, says ETS Aviation, a specialist in monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) software and support services. Even a small airline with a fleet of six aircraft emitting 150,000 tonnes of CO2 a year could lose up to one million euros ($1.25m) over the 2012-2020 reporting cycle for a one to two percent error in monitoring emissions data, calculates the company.
Meanwhile, leading accredited EU ETS verifier CICS is warning that many operators still have much work to do to meet deadlines and has released a ‘white paper’ to provide a resource on verification issues.
ETS Aviation bases its calculations on an EU allowance (EUA) estimate of upwards of €30 ($38) per tonne of CO2, or about €100 per flight hour for a business jet and €300 for a medium-sized airliner. Inaccuracies or errors, it adds, can lead to further fines and penalties as well as additional auditing expenses with the verifier.
Julien Dufour of Paris-based verifier VerifAvia said wrong or incomplete data will lead to the data not being verified and the operator will not be able to submit a signed-off report to the Competent Authority. However, he believes only the UK has a penalty regime in place at present, with the Aviation EU ETS Directive still in the process of legal transposition in a number of States, including France.
Rather than developing their own expensive in-house MRV system, ETS Aviation is naturally recommending its Aviation Footprinter software to operators of all sizes, and claims leading verification bodies in the UK are looking at the viability of remote verifications using the product.
ETS Aviation has signed two agreements in recent weeks which will link Aviation Footprinter to both Aerobytes’ Flight Data Monitoring system and the Flight Operation System (FOS) developed by Computer Technologies for Aviation (CTA), which will aid customers of the two systems in emissions data recording.
Aerobytes Managing Director Eddie Forester said the process of collecting the information and converting it into the required format was an unrealistic burden to place upon individual airlines. “Consequently, we have modified the fuel monitoring component of our Flight Data Monitoring (FDM/FOQA) system so that it can collect and store the required information automatically.”
He said new functionality came at no extra cost to users and operators would make savings of several weeks of effort per year. David Carlisle, CEO of ETS Aviation, said the Aerobytes software would ‘harvest’ the data and then submit it to Aviation Footprinter for the remainder of the ETS process, which includes checking for errors and missing or potentially erroneous data. Aerobytes has over 130 customers worldwide.
CTA’s flight operations management system is used by around 600 operators worldwide, including corporate, government, aircraft management and charter, repair stations and regional airlines operations.
Fred Powell, CTA’s Chief Technical Officer, said emissions flight data is recorded into the company’s FOS system through a simple upgrade and populates a database via Aviation Footprinter. “It is a simple solution and it avoids duplication, making life a lot easier for our customers,” he added. “This system will meet the EU requirements and will also provide a custom-made CO2 risk management system and help locate fuel saving and emissions efficiency opportunities.”
With the monitoring of emissions having started in January, aircraft operators must be ready to have their data independently verified before the reporting deadline of 31 March 2011. VerifAvia’s Dufour expects there might be a shortage of verifiers by then, “but at the end of the day it is the responsibility of the operator to have their reports verified in time.”
To help get to grips with the legislation, leading UK accredited verifier Complete Integrated Certification Services (CICS) has produced a ‘white paper’ entitled ‘Emissions Verification in the Aviation Sector’. The document examines the requirements put into place under the EU ETS and looks at methods of best practice for both airlines and verifiers in ensuring they are met.
“Understanding the best way to undertake monitoring, verification and reporting of CO2 can be a complex task,” commented CICS Director and Lead Verifier Shaun Bainbridge. “Aircraft operators must be careful to ensure that this is done satisfactorily if they want to take full advantage once carbon trading comes into play.
“Our new white paper takes a comprehensive look at the issues involved, and I think it will provide a great resource for those who need to get to grips with the topic.”
CICS was the first body to be accredited under the second phase of the EU ETS (2008-2012) and verifies over 40% of the operators reporting into the UK and Irish Environmental Agencies. Previous work in the aviation sector has included independently verifying carbon emissions for several major international airlines to support their offset programmes and EU ETS pre-verification.