From the start of 2012, the aviation sector will be covered by the EU Emissions Trading System, according to Directive 2008/11/EC which was incorporated into the Greek legal order with the Ministerial Decision Nr. 57495/2959/Ε103/2010. Within that framework, the Commission adopted on 26 September 2011 a Decision (2011/638/ΕU) on the EEA-wide benchmark values which will be used to allocate greenhouse gas emission allowances free of charge to more than 900 aircraft operators.

Based on the published benchmark values, airlines companies will be able to calculate their free allowances until 2020. Specifically, the benchmark for the trading period 2012 was calculated to 0.6797 allowances per 1,000 tonne-kilometres, while for the period from 2013 to 2020 an airline will receive 0.6422 allowances per 1,000 tonne-kilometres.

The total quantity of allowances to be allocated for the aviation sector in 2012 will be equal to 97% of the EEA-wide historical aviation emissions (average of the annual emissions from years 2004, 2005 and 2006). In the period 2013-2020 this percentage will be reduced to 95%. Subsequently, Directive 2009/101/ΕC foresees that in 2012, 85% of the allowances will be given for free to aircraft operators and 15% of the allowances will be allocated by auctioning. In the trading period 2013-2020, 82% of the allowances will be granted for free to aircraft operators, 15% of the CO2 allowances will be assigned by auctioning and the remaining 3% will remain in a special reserve for later distribution to fast growing airlines and new entrants into the market.

The formal allocation of free allowances to each aircraft operator will be carried out by Member States, who will multiply the benchmark by the 2010 tonne-kilometre data of each aircraft operator. Member States will determine individual allocations within three months of the publication of the benchmark decision.
Sources: Commission Decision of 26 September 2011 on benchmarks to allocate greenhouse gas emission allowances free of charge to aircraft operators (2011/638/EU); website European Commission – Climate Action