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Arab Air Carriers Organization first to endorse SITA’s solution

SITA develops breakthrough global solution for airline emissions regulation

SITA, the air transport IT specialist, announced that it has developed and tested a scaleable global solution to comply with Emissions Trading Schemes (ETS) for an airline industry burdened with multiple such demands.

Four airlines from the Middle East, the United States and Europe are testing SITA’s Aircraft Emissions Manager, the world’s first Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) software tool to measure accurately carbon emissions from aircraft operators. One test has been completed satisfactorily, and three more are getting underway, as airlines finalize their plans for monitoring and reporting carbon dioxide emissions to the EU in order to meet the deadline of August 31, 2009.

At the SITA Air Transport IT Summit in Cannes, the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO) became the first organization to recommend adoption of the new SITA Aircraft Emissions Manager solution to its members when it becomes commercially available in October. The organization also agreed on behalf of 11 AACO member Airlines for SITA to supply advisory services to help manage the EU ETS challenge they face.

Abdul Wahab Teffaha, AACO Secretary General, said: “The Arab Air Carriers Organization is happy to endorse SITA’s Aircraft Emissions Manager based on extensive consultations and successful testing of the solution. 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 onwards.

“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.”

SITA – owned by the world’s airlines – created an airline Working Group on Environmental Regulation comprising 23 airlines to develop the necessary data processing and data mining capabilities which will allow the introduction of a low-cost, community solution agile enough to meet current and new demands for MRV of carbon emissions. SITA is providing consultancy services to several airlines from around the world on how best to comply with the new EU ETS.

Francesco Violante, SITA CEO, 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.

“The most pressing issue now is to support those airlines operating to, from and within EU member states which must submit plans for monitoring and reporting carbon dioxide emissions by August 31 in advance of a 2010 pre-compliance phase for the EU’s ETS which will include aviation from 2012. We are pleased to see the Arab Air Carriers Organization taking the lead on implementation and we are confident that others will follow.”

Frederic Falise, Head of SITA’s Environment Programme which designed the Aircraft Emissions Manager, said: “One of the drivers for the SITA Working Group on Environmental Regulation 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 has been able to verify the accuracy of the data it has extracted from the flight records of participating airlines against external records. SITA 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.

SITA is also engaged in many other areas where IT has a role to play in improving fuel efficiency and reducing carbon emissions whether it is to verify that aircraft on departure or arrival use a single engine to taxi, route optimization, implementing green IT, reducing sky congestion through ADS-B and associated technologies, or supporting next generation aircraft.

The agreement was signed on behalf of Air Cairo, Egypt Air Group (which includes Egypt Air, Egypt Air Express, and Egypt Air Cargo), Jordan Aviation, Kuwait Airways, Libyan Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Oman Air, Royal Jordanian, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Syrian Arab Airways and Yemen Airways.