All aircraft operators that carry out aviation activities as described in Annex I to the European emissions trading directive participate in the EU ETS. In principle, these are flights to and from the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU), as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (31 countries in total). Some exceptions apply.

Geographical scope

During the 2013-2023 period, however, the geographical scope of the EU ETS will be limited to flights between and within these countries: the intra-EU scope. Aircraft operators not situated in one of these 31 countries must also participate if they operate the relevant flight types. Some exceptions apply: very small aircraft do not fall within the EU ETS, and nor do certain categories of flights such as military flights, rescue flights and test flights.

List of aircraft operators and their administering Member States

Each year, the European Commission publishes a list of aircraft operators and their administering Member States (this is the Member State responsible for monitoring the aircraft operator). The performance of aviation activities as defined by Annex I is the deciding factor in whether the operator falls under the EU ETS scheme, and not inclusion in the list published by the European Commission!