Current ANSP Practices Towards Reducing the Environmental Impact of Air Traffic Operations

E. Ganic, C. Schütz, S. Staudinger
Stau23b (2023)
Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Innovation in Aviation and Space for opening New Horizons (EASN 2023), Salerno, Italy, September 5-8, 2023, Abstract, 1 page, 2023.
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Abstract (English)

Significant efforts have been made over the years to reduce noise impact as well as fuel consumption and pollutant emissions from aircraft operations. Different stakeholders such as airports, airlines, air navigation service providers, and regulatory bodies are tackling this problem from various perspectives in their sphere of influence. Most initiatives for the reduction of negative environmental impacts require substantial resources and are concentrated mainly on a strategic level. On a practical level, by changing airport operational procedures, ANSPs can achieve short-term improvements, which are less expensive to implement compared to solutions at the disposal of other stakeholders. In this regard, the optimisation of airport operational procedures with the aim to reduce noise impact and fuel burn has been well studied over the past decades, and various approaches have been proposed to ANSPs. However, the implementation of possible theoretical solutions into ANSP practice proved not to be as widely spread as expected. Therefore, in this paper, we look at the state-of-the-art regarding current practices that ANSPs are following to reduce the environmental impact of air traffic on the population in the airport vicinity, including local air quality and noise emissions. In addition to investigating the available academic approaches, we analysed various information available in the official publications of different European ANSPs.We scraped websites for information material and technical documentation in order to apply natural language processing techniques to systematically analyse those documents. Furthermore, we contacted different ANSP representatives in Europe to learn about their current practices as well as their future intentions to include environmental factors in their activities. As a result, we compared and classified the different initiatives in terms of processes that are optimised, pollutants reduced, and the primary purpose of the initiative. A special focus has been dedicated to the decision support systems and automated traffic planning tools that are used by air traffic controllers. Consequently, we identified possible improvements to the current solutions in place and formulated requirements and suggestions for the future development of such systems.

Keywords. aircraft noise, engine emissions, local air quality, air navigation service providers