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Climate Action

Aircraft operators and their administering countries

On 14 July 2021, the European Commission adopted a series of legislative proposals setting out how it intends to achieve climate neutrality in the EU by 2050, including the intermediate target of an at least 55% net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The package proposes to revise several pieces of EU climate legislation, including the EU ETS, Effort Sharing Regulation, transport and land use legislation, setting out in real terms the ways in which the Commission intends to reach EU climate targets under the European Green Deal.

Each European Economic Area (EEA) country – the EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – has appointed a competent authority to manage the inclusion of aviation in the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS).

Administering country


To reduce administrative costs, each operator is administered by a single country.

Aircraft operators based in the EEA are administered by the country that issued their operating licence. Those based outside the EEA are administered by the state where the operator's aviation emissions are estimated to have been greatest in the base year.

Operators and their administering countries are listed on 2 lists:

  • List of aircraft operators – published every year in February
  • Prior compliance list – published every year around May

List of aircraft operators

The most recent list (from 2022) includes aircraft operators which performed an aviation activity listed in Annex I to the ETS Directive (2003/87/EC). It contains 30 EEA countries, as no operators are currently allocated to Liechtenstein.

Operators performing an activity listed in Annex I to the ETS Directive are included in the EU ETS, regardless of whether they feature on the list.

Likewise, operators that stop operating flights are excluded from the system once they no longer carry out an aviation activity listed in Annex I and have surrendered their relevant allowances, rather than when they are removed from the list.

The list of aircraft operators is based on information provided by operators through fleet lists.

Fleet lists and update of the prior compliance list

The following aircraft operators should submit their fleet lists to the Commission:

  • Operators that have performed flights since 2010, but were not on the list of aircraft operators adopted on 3 February 2012 or the prior compliance list published in May 2012.
  • Operators that started flights to the EU and EEA in 2012, but used service companies to file their flight plans and to pay route charges, and do not have a Central Route Charges Office (CRCO) account.

The fleet list form was last updated on 26 October 2016.

Aircraft operators may pre-submit their fleet list to Eurocontrol (ets [dot] infoateurocontrol [dot] int (ets[dot]info[at]eurocontrol[dot]int)) for initial verification before submitting it to the Commission. Eurocontrol checks that all the information required is provided. The completed form must be sent to the Commission at ENV-EU-ETS-AIRCRAFT-OPERATOR-LISTatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (ENV-EU-ETS-AIRCRAFT-OPERATOR-LIST[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu).

Prior compliance list

This list includes aircraft operators that are not yet on the list of operators, and the countries most likely administer them in the near future.

The latest prior compliance list was published in May 2023.

Operators on this list are included in the list of operators when it is next updated.


Click on the + signs for more information.


This set of Frequently Asked Questions responds to many of the queries which have been received about the operation of the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) in relation to aviation activities. The FAQs aim to assist aircraft operators and Administering Member States to implement the legislation. Whilst in some cases, the FAQs may present a particular interpretation of the legislation it should be recalled that only the Court of Justice can provide definitive interpretations of EU law.

Aircraft operators

The aircraft operators list

Obligations and procedures for new entrants

Allocation of emissions allowances

Special reserve

Small emitters

Penalties & enforcement of the EU ETS - Aviation legislation

Extension of the EU ETS to the EEA EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway)

Monitoring and reporting