Leveraging demand-capacity balancing to reduce air traffic emissions and improve overall network performance

Improvements in European air traffic management (ATM) constitute one of the key levers to reduce aviation emissions in the future to reach ambitious goals. In this paper, the authors evaluate the benefits of improved network-centric ATM with coordinated optimisation of capacity, delays, re-routings and emissions vs the present fragmented ATM which has generated high delays and extensive re-routing due to sub-optimal capacity provision. In addition, the authors analyse the impact on flight efficiency of a novel trajectory-independent airport-pair charging scheme, which makes shortest routes the cheapest for Airspace Users (AUs), which is not always the case with the current charging scheme in Europe. The authors test and evaluate proposed changes in ATM using a case study based on real data covering 3,000–4,000 flights in large parts of Western European airspace. The authors find that network-centric ATM can reduce variable costs borne by AUs by 21% and in particular re-routing cost (and associated emissions) by almost 64%. Furthermore, airport-pair charging can save almost 11% of costs for AUs and up to 320,000 tons of CO2 emissions — if accompanied by adequate capacity changes that reflect the shift in demand towards shorter trajectories. The authors conclude that various stakeholder initiatives to reduce the fragmentation in European ATM and to move towards a more network-centric approach have merits and should be pursued by the policy makers.


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  • Accession Number: 01900022
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 20 2023 9:12AM