The environmental impacts of several possible U.S. Next Generation Air Transportation scenarios have been quantitatively evaluated for noise, air-quality, fuel-efficiency, and CO2 impacts. Three principal findings have emerged. (1) 2025 traffic levels about 30% higher than 2006 are obtained by increasing traffic according to FAA projections while also limiting traffic at each airport using reasonable ratios of demand to capacity. NextGen operational capabilities alone enable attainment of an additional 10-15% more flights beyond that 2025 baseline level with negligible additional noise, air-quality, and fuel-efficiency impacts. (2) The addition of advanced engine and airframe technologies provides substantial additional reductions in noise and air-quality impacts, and further improves fuel efficiency. 2025 environmental goals based on projected system-wide improvement rates of about 1% per year for noise and fuel-efficiency (an air-quality goal is not yet formulated) are achieved using this new vehicle technology. (3) Overall air-transport “product”, as measured by total flown distance or total payload distance, increases by about 50% relative to 2006, but total fuel consumption and CO2 production increase by only about 40% using NextGen operational capabilities. With the addition of advanced engine/airframe technologies, the increase in total fuel consumption and CO2 production can be reduced to about 30%.
Theme: Environmental Impacts in ATM System Design and Operation
Keywords: CO2 production, air quality, environmental sustainability, fuel efficiency, next-generation air transport, noise
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