The European Parliament on Tuesday voted on a detailed plan to include aviation in the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS), a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade system that has been in place since 2005 for ground-based facilities such as coal-fired power plants.
Final approval of the text in the EU lawmaking machinery is expected by year-end.
Current plans start with requiring the operators of all aircraft by 2012 to cut emissions by 3 percent over their 2004 to 2006 average. They will receive 85 percent of their allowances for free; the rest are auctioned.
With some exceptions, all aircraft, including business jets and turboprops, taking off or landing in the EU are included, although aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds are exempt. “Small airline companies producing low emissions” are also exempt.