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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09BRUSSELS1212 2009-09-04 08:57:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY USEU Brussels
Cable title:  

USG OWNED OR OPERATED AIRCRAFT ON THE EU ETS LIST

Tags:   EAIR ECON SENV EUN 
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1. (SBU) SUMMARY: USEU EconOffs raised U.S. concerns about
USG owned or operated aircraft inappropriately included on
the EU list of Aircraft Operators with European Commission
officials at DG Transportation and Energy (DG TREN) and DG
Environment (DG ENV) on September 1. Commission officials
argued that the list has no consequences at the Community
level, rather operator activity triggers ETS coverage. As
required by the EU Directive, the list will be revised in
February 2010, but currently officials are unable to say if
the USG aircraft would be removed. DG ENV will request more
detailed data from EuroControl as the basis for further
expert discussion. The N-numbers and N-registered aircraft
information was furnished by French authorities and relates
to French Overseas Territories flights so Embassy Paris would
be an appropriate addition to the Action Request. USEU
recommends putting the issue on the agenda of the October
U.S.-EU Aviation Joint Committee Meeting and that the Head of
Unit of DG ENV's Office of Clean Air and Transport be a
member of the EU delegation. END SUMMARY



2. (SBU) On September 1, EconOff raised the points reftel
at DG TREN with Policy Officers David Batchelor, Aviation
Safety and Environment, and Daniel Edwards, Internal Market,
Air Transport Agreements and Multilateral Relations, and
requested that USG operators be removed from the EU list of
Aircraft Operators. Batchelor and Edwards were receptive,
but underlined that DG ENV has lead in implementation of the
EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS). They understand the
U.S. concern and will share it with Air Transport Director
Daniel Calleja and Head of Unit Olivier Onidi. Batchelor
agreed that the list should be as accurate as possible, but
noted that compiling it was a greater challenge than DG ENV
had anticipated. Given time constraints and the need to
inform Member State authorioperator actiwe`Q`@Qid``atchelor--who
gave a presention on EU-ETS MRV implementation at the June
Joint Committee Meeting in Brussels. He reports to Owen.
END NOTE) In response to the U.S. request that the USG
aircraft be removed from the list on an urgent basis and that
the multiple errors with N-numbers and N-registerd aircraft
be corrected, DG ENV officials repeated Batchelor's argument
that the list has no consequences at the Community level and
that it serves only to allocate operators to Member State
authorities. Owen stressed that operator activities were key
and that in regard to the USG aircraft it would be the
purpose of the flight that would govern exceptions to the
ETS. He said that his office would take another look at the
list, reviewing it in due course to prepare the required
annual update in February. Owen also provided copies of the
Commission's Information Note on the Legal Status of the List
of Aircraft Operators and of the Commission Decision of 8
June 2009 on the Detailed Interpretation of Aviation
Actitivies Listed in Annex I to Directive 2003/87/EC. These
documents have been emailed to EEB/TRA and are available on
DG ENV website at www.ec.europa.eu/environment.


BRUSSELS 00001212 002.2 OF 002




4. (SBU) Good provided a lengthy explanation of how the list
was prepared and said that the USG owned or operated craft
would have been included because of the type of flight
information filed. At Owen's prompting, he agreed to request
more detailed data from EuroControl regarding the USG owned
or operated flights to serve as a basis for further expert
discussion. He reiterated several times that inclusion in the
EU ETS is linked to actual aviation activity and not to
inclusion on the list. When asked about Member State steps
to incorporate ETS into domestic law, Good argued that
references to the EU list simply allow Members State
authorities "to consider the operators on the list" and
provide legal grounds for refusing to regulate those assigned
to another Member, providing "certainty" to authorities and
to industry. Good also noted that the information on
N-numbers and N-registered aircraft came from French
authorities since EuroControl has no records of flights in
and out of the French Overseas Territories. He expressed
concern that due to using two separate sources of
information, there may be some double counting and said that
DG ENV would reach out to French authorities for
clarification. Citing the press of work in getting the MRV
implementation underway, he claimed it would not be possible
to revise the list prior to February 1, 2010.



5. (SBU) COMMENT: USEU will press DG ENV to provide
additional detail promptly and will continue to engage with
appropriate officials there, but note the institutional
unwillingness to resolve the matter before February, if then.
Regarding the N-numbers and N-registered aircraft,
Washington agencies may wish to direct Embassy Paris raise
the matter with the French authorities. USEU recommends that
EEB/TRA request Philip Owen, Head of the Clean Air and
Transport Unit at DG ENV, be included in the EU delegation to
the Joint Committee meeting in Washington in October, in
order to further address this issue. END COMMENT.

MURRAY
.