• Airlines fear some environmental action is inevitable

    The realisation among Europe’s airlines that some form of environmental pricing is inevitable appears to be growing.

    [mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]At a high-level aviation and environment conference in Geneva last month, the head of British Airways Rod Eddington said: “The industry must unite to develop an effective strategy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. If it does not, governments will view the industry as an easy target for taxes to fund non-aviation projects.”

    Eddington is keen to promote aviation emissions trading, believing it to be better than kerosene or emissions charges. Many of Europe’s big airlines are not keen, but their association AEA appears willing to support a limited emissions trading scheme if no further environmental restrictions or charges on airlines are guaranteed.

    T&E has always favoured en route emission charges for aviation over “open” emissions trading, as this can give a “double dividend” of less pollution and more employment, and gives more freedom to set appropriate prices for the aviation sector.

    In a separate development, T&E has heavily criticised a report for the Commission into the economic implications of restricting night-time flights from major EU airports. The report says between 360 000 and 500 000 jobs are dependent on night flights, but T&E and other NGOs say its methodology is flawed and its conclusions are meaningless.

    • The British government is making €60 million available to build an airport on the British Atlantic territory of St Helena. The announcement coincides with an EU review of state funding for regional airports which could lead to stricter rules on state money for airports.

    • The Commission is asking for views on aviation and climate change. The deadline is 6 May, and the consultation questionnaires are at https://europa.eu.int/comm/enviro nment/climat/aviation_en.htm.