Carbon dioxide (CO2) is well known for its importance as an atmospheric greenhouse gas, with many sources and sinks around the globe. Understanding the fluxes of carbon into and out of the atmosphere is a complex and daunting challenge. One tool applied by scientists to measure the vertical flux of CO2 near the surface uses the eddy covariance technique, most often from towers but also from aircraft flying specific patterns over the study area. In this technique, variations of constituents of interest are correlated with fluctuations in the local vertical wind velocity. Measurement requirements are stringent, particularly with regard to precision, sensitivity to small changes, and temporal sampling rate. In addition, many aircraft have limited payload capability, so instrument size, weight, and power consumption are also important considerations. We report on the development and preliminary application of an airborne sensor for the measurement of atmospheric CO2. The instrument, modeled on the successful DLH (Diode Laser Hygrometer) series of instruments, has been tested in the laboratory and on the NASA DC-8 aircraft. Performance parameters such as accuracy, precision, sensitivity, specificity, and temporal response are discussed in the context of typical atmospheric variability and suitability for flux measurement applications. On-aircraft, in-flight data have been obtained and are discussed as well. Performance of the instrument has been promising, and continued flight testing is planned during 2016.