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NBAA pleased with delay of Europe carbon-trading program


U.S. aircraft operators won’t have to worry about paying a carbon offset fee to the European Union for at least another 18 months. EU officials pushed back the start of the program after facing criticism from many foreign and U.S.-based airlines and business jet operators. Ed Bolen, the president of the National Business Aviation Association, praised the delay, calling the program unfair and costly. Under the Emissions Trading Scheme, foreign operators would have to pay the EU a variable fee based on the total length of each flight, not just the segments in EU airspace. European carriers already have to pay the fee for their flights within that continent. The soonest non-EU operators would have to pay the fee is now April 2014, but Bolen and others hope that ICAO, the international governing body for aviation, will issue more comprehensive guidance on emissions controls at its summit in the fall of 2013.