These Regulations transpose the EU Directive 2008/101/EC ("the Aviation Directive") which extends the EU Emissions Trading Scheme ("ETS") to aviation activities. The previous 2009 Regulations [S.I. No. 274 of 2009], which partially transposed the Aviation Directive, are revoked.

All flights arriving at and departing from EU airports will be included in the ETS from 2012. The Regulations provide for the submission of monitoring plans to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has been designated as the competent authority for the purpose of the Aviation Directive.

The 2010 Regulations introduce new sections regarding the use of Certified Emissions Units and Emission Reduction Units, but also outline certain aircraft operators who will not be subject to all of the requirements of the Aviation Directive.

Most significant are the much-strengthened enforcement procedures. The maximum fine for conviction on indictment for a breach of the Regulations, for example, has gone from €500,000 to €15,000,000. Another key aspect concerns the creation of an Authorised Officer, whose role involves ensuring compliance with the Regulations. The Officer is furnished with very broad powers including the right to enter on any premises at all reasonable times for any purpose connected with the Regulations, the right to inspect and take copies any documents s/he finds and the right to direct that any matter or thing be not removed from the premises without his/her consent.