Modelling tools to measure the environmental impacts of aviation

Since 2000, EUROCONTROL has developed a series of models to support its Member States and, by extension, the entire aviation community, in estimating the magnitude of the environmental impacts that current or future air traffic movements might have. These models have already been significantly improved upon, given that knowledge on aviation and environment modelling has grown and computing technologies evolved.

The current environmental tool suite of EUROCONTROL is composed of three main models: AEM, Open-ALAQS, and IMPACT.
Modelling tools

Advanced Emission Model (AEM)

AEM estimates aircraft emissions (i.e. CO2, H2O, SOX, NOX, HC, CO, benzene, VOC and TOG) and fuel burn. In addition, 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.
Developed as a plug-in to an open-source geographic information system, Open-ALAQS estimates emissions from aircraft operation activities and various airport sources, as well as those from non-airport infrastructure such as roads.


Based on an extensive reference-data warehouse, IMPACT is a secure web application that enables consistent trade-off analyses between fuel burn/emissions and noise. IMPACT includes a new aircraft trajectory calculator, which computes complete aircraft trajectories from the departing to the arrival airport, along with engine thrust and fuel flow information. The noise engine of IMPACT is compliant with ICAO Doc 9911 and the newly adopted 4th Edition of ECAC.CEAC Doc29.

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

AEM, Open-ALAQS, and IMPACT are also the recommended models for conducting environmental impact assessments in SESAR.

Env. modelling tools - Team

EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre
Centre du Bois des Bordes
CS 41005
91222 Brétigny-Sur-Orge Cedex