Activities ETS Aviation and exceptions

Aviation activities under the EU ETS are flights that depart from or arrive at airports situated in the territory of one of the 28 EU Member States, or in Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway. This is the definition given in Annex I of the European emissions trading directive. During the 2013-2016 period, however, the geographical scope of the EU ETS will be limited to flights between and within these countries, the intra-EU scope.


Annex I also outlines exceptions, for example:

  • Flights performed by aircraft with a certified maximum take-off mass of less than 5700 kg;
  • Military flights performed by military aircraft , and customs/police flights; and
  • Flights performed for scientific research or for the pupose of testing or certifying the aircraft or equipment.

The European Commission has issued a detailed interpretation of aviation activities and the applicable exceptions listing, for example, the exemption codes used by the Eurocontrol Central Route Charge Office (CRCO) for these flights. This information can be found in Annex I of the Dutch emission trading regulation.