EU

07
sep

Seeking to end years of acrimony, the European Union has made concessions to the United States to try to gain support for global rules on airline emissions. Under the arrangement, the European Union would pare back its regulations, applying them only to its own airspace. The original plan, which the United States and other countries rejected, would have imposed charges for emissions over an airline’s entire route if the flight began or ended in Europe. In exchange, Europe is pushing for a global deal on aviation emissions. The European concessions — proposed quietly over the summer and made public this week — aim to end a trans-Atlantic dispute over a European law to curb emissions on major international routes. In doing so, the European Union is looking to present a united front with the Americans and press the rest of the world to adopt similar or more extensive controls. “This is a multilateral negotiation where you give and take,” Isaac Valero-Ladrón, a spokesman for the European Commission, said in a statement. “We should not miss the bigger picture: a global deal means more emissions covered in the long term.” The European law, which came into force on Jan. 1, 2012, covers emissions from most flights ...

07

The EU agreed to a deal late Wednesday to scale back its law regulating carbon from flights as U.N. negotiators pledged to craft a global pact on aviation emissions that would not take effect for seven years. EU officials agreed at U.N. talks in Montreal to only include emissions from flights over European airspace in the bloc's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), said the EU's top climate official Jos Delbeke, a move that would scale down a law that covers all flights to and from Europe. The deal, which still needs to be signed off by a full meeting of the U.N.'s aviation body ICAO ending Oct. 4 and by EU lawmakers, drew fire from green groups and sparked a renewed threat of legal action by European airlines. "There are bits and pieces of that text that make everybody unhappy. So it's maybe not too far away from an ideal compromise," said Delbeke at an event at the EU Parliament in Brussels. The deal falls short of the worldwide pact the EU had hoped for in November 2012 when it exempted foreign flights for one year to give ICAO more time to strike a global deal and avert The agreement will force airlines to surrender more ...

04
sep

Talks at the U.N.'s aviation body must bridge a deep divide between developed and emerging nations over airline emissions to avert the threat of a carbon trade war with the European Union. After more than a decade of debate at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), there is little sign emerging powers China and India are ready to pay to pollute. Failure to get a deal would open the way for the European Union to resume international implementation of its own law that makes all aviation using EU airports buy carbon allowances. The last time it tried to enforce the law over frustration at a lack of ICAO progress, the EU faced counter-measures and the suspension of Chinese orders for Airbus jets. Some orders are still frozen. In response to claims it was breaching sovereignty, the EU suspended the law, but said it would re-impose it unless the ICAO found an alternative. With time running short before the EU has to decide what to do, the ICAO will hold a preliminary meeting on September 4. That in theory will finalize the ground work for an outline global deal at the triennial general assembly beginning on September 24 at the ICAO headquarters in Montreal. But still ...

01
sep

A bill awaiting congressional approval is reviving the ghosts of Sept. 11. Commercial airlines would be required to install a secondary barrier to protect the cockpit under legislation introduced by Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and supported by Ellen Saracini, the widow of Victor Saracini, one of the pilots killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. After the deadly attacks, the Federal Aviation Administration required commercial airlines to install one locking door between the cabin and the cockpit. The new bill suggests that planes are momentarily vulnerable when a pilot unlocks the door to use the restroom in the main cabin. Fitzpatrick's bill was referred to a congressional subcommittee in April, with no hearing date scheduled. The debate over the barriers has grown heated, with federal law enforcement groups supporting the bill and the airline industry criticizing it for costing millions of dollars. "We believe individual carriers should be able to make the determination," said Jean Medina, a spokeswoman for Airlines for America, the trade group for the country's airlines. After the Sept. 11 attacks, Congress set aside $100 million to help air carriers pay the estimated $12,000 to $17,000 cost of installing each cockpit door. Fitzpatrick's bill does not offer government funding for the ...

01

European rules on flight delays and cancellations could actually threaten passenger welfare, according to a leading aviation body. The Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK) has lambasted legislation aimed at protecting passenger rights, saying it promotes a “compensation culture” that will ultimately lead to higher fares – and may place passengers in peril. The organisation’s chief executive, Dale Keller, said: “Consumers feel they do not need travel insurance, since they hear that the airlines will pay out should anything go wrong. This is leaving more consumers exposed to other risks, including medical.” He told The Independent: “The evidence comes from airline customer-care departments dealing with consumer claims”. Such passengers are routinely asked by staff if they hold insurance, and the airlines indicate that more people are travelling uninsured because of the perception that all risks are covered when a plane ticket is bought. The latest survey of UK holidaymakers reveals that almost one-quarter travel without travel insurance – a figure that rises to nearly half in the case of 18-24 year olds. One in four travellers believes, wrongly, they will be repatriated free of charge if they fall ill. Malcolm Tarling of the Association of British Insurers said: “We always advise ...