Critical Issues in Aviation and the Environment 2009: Airports, Nonaircraft Emissions, and Climate Change

Policy makers at the international, national, regional, and local levels are paying increasing attention to the effects of anthropogenic (human-made) activities on the earth’s climate. Human activities have increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs), which are thought by most atmospheric scientists to increase global temperatures and have other effects on regional and local climate. Aviation operations are among the many anthropogenic activities that result in GHG emissions, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), primarily from combustion of carbonaceous fuels in aircraft engines. For example, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that fuel combustion for aviation contributes approximately 2% to the total anthropogenic CO2 emissions inventory, and, if left unmitigated, this could grow to as much as 4% by 2050. This report outlines the current state of knowledge and the types of research needed to better understand the climate change issues that are specific to airports, including evaluation of the potential effects of climate change on airport planning and maintenance. Aircraft generate the substantial majority of air travel-related GHG emissions. For example, the 2006 Seattle-Tacoma International Airport greenhouse gas inventory found that more than 90% of total CO2 emissions associated with that airport were from aircraft operating above 3,000 ft.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 18-23
  • Monograph Title: Critical Issues in Aviation and the Environment 2009
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01142328
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Oct 20 2009 4:30PM