Modelling tools to measure the environmental impacts of aviation


Working with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) environmental groups, EUROCONTROL has developed three key applications to model the main environmental impacts of air traffic movements, covering:

  • fuel burn/greenhouse gas emissions;
  • local air quality;
  • noise impact.

Each of the three EUROCONTROL modelling tools successfully passed ICAO’s stress tests in 2008-2009 and has since become part of the approved suite of assessment models used by ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) to assess future regulatory policy options such as introducing tighter aircraft noise and emissions standards, and future trends.

Modelling tools

Advanced Emissions Model (AEM)

This model estimates aviation emissions (CO2, H2O, SOX, NOX, HC, CO, benzene, VOC, TOG) and fuel burn. It analyses flight profile data, on a flight-by-flight basis, for air traffic scenarios of almost any scope, from local studies around airports to global aircraft emissions.
This model calculates airport emissions from all sources. It helps to define and measure emissions from various airport sources such as runways, taxiways and buildings as well as those from non-airport infrastructure such as roads.


This web modelling platform supports both aircraft noise and emissions assessments.

It is being developed by EUROCONTROL in the context of the SESAR Research and Innovation programme, and is available via a secure web portal. IMPACT can support studies ranging in size from a single airport up to an entire continent. Based on an extensive reference-data warehouse, it enables consistent trade-off analyses between fuel burn/emissions and noise. IMPACT is already being used for assessments of ICAO environmental policy options and is one of the environmental reference tools in SESAR.







ENV Tools team

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