From 2012, aviation will be included in the European emissions trading scheme. EU and non-EU Aircraft operators will have to surrender one allowance per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted on a flight to and from (and within) the EU. This covers passenger, cargo and non-commercial flights. Non-complying aircraft operators will face a fine and persistent offenders may be subject to detention and sale of assets or even face an operating ban.

The Aviation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2010 came into force on August 2010 and are the latest set of regulations governing the UK aviation emissions trading. They mostly revoke the Aviation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2009.

The 2010 Regulations provide for (i) the free allocation of allowances; (ii) emissions monitoring and reporting and the surrender of allowances equal to emissions; and (iii) the appointment of regulators in all parts of the UK and the powers and functions of the regulators.