Air travel has become increasingly more important and integrated to satisfy the demands of modern society. Global aviation demand is projected to grow at an average rate of 5-6% per annum (Schäfer & Waitz, 2014), with significantly higher growth rates in excess of 10% in developing countries such as India (ICAO, 2016c).
However, the ambitious goal towards promoting sustainable growth in aviation is increasingly challenging as the aviation sector produces a considerable amount of negative externalities such as local air pollution, noise and global warming. Aviation emissions accounts for around 1.6% of the anthropogenic CO2 radiative forcing in 2005, with the figure increasing to 4.9% if all non-CO2 emissions such as Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), water vapour, sulphates, particulate matter, linear contrails and induced cirrus cloudiness are taken into account (Lee et al., 2009).
This research group evaluates different solutions recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to minimise the environmental and social impacts of the aviation sector. The effectiveness and feasibility of these different mitigation solutions such as technological and operational efficiency improvements, use of alternative fuels, as well as market-based measures are within the research scope of this group.
The research methodology of this group is primarily quantitative-based with emphasis on the modelling of the aircraft fuel consumption and different emissions during the Landing & Take-Off (LTO) cycle and at cruise. After quantifying the different environmental impacts in a holistic manner, a series of future scenarios and different blends of mitigation solutions can then be assessed to improve the environmental sustainability of the aviation sector.
Research team involved:
- Dr Marc Stettler
- Roger Teoh
- Swapnil Jagtap
IATA. (2018) Climate Change - Three targets and four pillars. Available from: https://www.iata.org/policy/environment/Pages/climate-change.aspx [Accessed 28th September 2018].
ICAO. (2016) Climate Change & Aviation Growth in India. Agenda Item 22: Environmental Protection – International Aviation and Climate Change – Policy, Standardization and Implementation Support. . Montreal, Canada, Report number: A39-WP/138 EX/52.
Lee, D. S., Fahey, D. W., Forster, P. M., Newton, P. J., Wit, R. C., Lim, L. L., Owen, B. & Sausen, R. (2009) Aviation and global climate change in the 21st century. Atmospheric Environment. 43 (22), 3520-3537.
Schäfer, A. W. & Waitz, I. A. (2014) Air transportation and the environment. Transport Policy. 34 1-4.