Fri 3 July 2009 – A new Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) software tool developed by air transport IT specialist SITA which measures carbon emissions so that aircraft operators can comply with the requirements of the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) has received the backing of the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO). AACO recommends its airline members adopt SITA Aircraft Emissions Manager when it becomes commercially available in October. All carriers flying to, from and within Europe must submit plans for monitoring and reporting their CO2 emissions by August 31 in advance of a 2010 pre-compliance phase for the EU ETS, which will include aviation from 2012.
Airlines from the Middle East, Europe and the United States are testing the software, with one test already satisfactorily completed, according to SITA, and three more getting underway.
AACO, the first organization to endorse Aircraft Emissions Manager, has also agreed on behalf of its members for SITA to supply advisory services to help manage the challenges they face with the EU ETS.
“We are satisfied that the SITA solution will allow our member airlines to provide 100% accurate data on our carbon emissions to the EU so we get a fair deal under the ETS from 2012,” said Abdul Wahab Teffaha, AACO Secretary General. “SITA is already providing our members with consultancy services to prepare their monitoring plans, which means we are assured of an end-to-end service, which is also critical for the air transport industry as a whole.”
According to a report in ATW Online, Teffaha has said the EU ETS will cost AACO member airlines around €200 million ($280m) in the first year of trading in 2012, which he believed was a conservative figure and did not include the cost of compliance. He said AACO would continue to push for a global approach and warned against a patchwork of regional and national ETS initiatives.
SITA, which is owned by the world’s airlines, has created an airline Working Group on Environmental Regulation comprising 23 airlines to develop the necessary data processing and data mining capabilities through what it describes as a low-cost, community solution, agile enough to meet current and new carbon emissions MRV demands.
Frédéric Falise, Head of SITA’s Environment Programme, said: “One of the drivers for the working group was to understand how information technology systems can help airlines demonstrate their compliance and control their environmental data without suffering undue economic consequences. This has now been achieved and we have a solution that will reduce the costs of verification and also the chances of litigation between airlines and regulators by ensuring competitive fairness amongst stakeholders.”
During pilot projects in recent months, SITA says it has been able to verify the accuracy of the data it has extracted from the flight records of participating airlines against external records. It claims its engineers have now perfected the standard software to extract the necessary data from aircraft operations for any airline to make it available for verification by governments or other regulatory authorities.
The organization is already providing consultancy services to several airlines from around the world on how best they can comply with the ETS.
SITA CEO Francesco Violante said: “SITA is already a trusted neutral interface between national authorities and airlines for the secure and efficient exchange of data over the world’s largest private network. We recognize that there is a need for a community approach to accurate reporting of carbon emissions and we have now developed a solution that is suitable for deployment in any region.”
SITA, which earned revenues of over $1.47 billion in 2008, is also engaged in other aviation fuel efficiency and carbon emissions reduction activities where IT has a role, such as verifying whether an aircraft should use a single engine to taxi, route optimization, implementing green IT, reducing sky congestion through ADS-B and associated technologies, and supporting next-generation aircraft.
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