Wednesday, December 21, 2011

EXCLUSIVE! As ETS draws near, India pulls the plugs

Neelam Mathews
Dec 21, 2011

With EU moving relentlessly ahead with the Emission Trading Scheme, India is planning to ask EU to bring the ETS into the Horizontal Aviation Agreement, that has not as yet been ratified, Aerospace Diary learns. 

A high level civil aviation delegation is also looking at heading to Washington early in January to discuss with the US government, its dissenting partner, on the way forward to deal with stubborn EU.

Initiated in 2008 in Brussels, a Horizontal Aviation Agreement is expected to restore legal certainty to the bilateral air services agreements between India and 26 EU Member States. The agreement will bring several provisions in the 26 bilateral air services agreements between EU Member States and India in line with EU law. This was to remove nationality restrictions in the bilateral air services agreements between EU Member States and India and thereby allow any EU airline to operate flights between India and any EU Member State where it is established and where a bilateral agreement with India exists and traffic rights are available. 

“EU will have a major issue with this as it will create administrative and legal problems,” says an EU official. “The horizontal agreement will never be signed if this is the case and individual agreements will remain,” he adds. 

India has asked its carriers not to file emissions data to EU and direct any inquiry to the civil aviation ministry. “While there is no doubt the tax will be passed on to the passenger, the fact remains that India has made a stand and it’s a small price to pay to be noticed on the world forum…In the end, EU will understand India cannot be pushed,” says an aviation official. 

Meanwhile, the U.S has asked EU carriers to file emission data. “This looks like a preparation to initiate retaliatory steps,” the official added.

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