Collaborative Environmental Management (CEM) specification



This EUROCONTROL Specification for Collaborative Environmental Management (CEM) at airports sets out a high level, generic protocol that will support core operational stakeholders in their continued efforts to deal with environmental impacts at and around airports. More specifically, the protocol promotes a collaborative approach by formalising arrangements between air navigation service providers  (ANSP) (in particular, air traffic service providers (ATSP), airport operators and aircraft operators.  For those stakeholders wishing to implement CEM, Section 7 in this Specification provides a practical guide, setting out mandatory requirements and recommended practices.

This Specification may also be used to facilitate compliance with the requirements of:

  • the Directive 2002/30/EC of 26th March 2002 on the establishment of rules and procedures with regard to the introduction of noise-related operating restrictions at Community airports.;
  • the Directive 2002/49/EC of 25th June 2002 relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise; and
  • the Directive 2008/50/EC of 21st May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe.  

In addition, it can support the Essential Requirements of Regulation (EC) No 552/2004 as amended by Regulation (EC) No 1070/2009 – Annex II ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS (the interoperability Regulation) , in particular the ‘sustainability and effectiveness of air navigation services’ and the ‘need to minimise environmental impact in accordance with Community legislation’.  In the future it may provide support in achieving any applicable performance targets that may be adopted in accordance with Single European Sky regulations.  
Furthermore, the CEM protocol has been developed by EUROCONTROL in response to ESSIP objective ENV02 , which is recognised in the SESAR ATM Master Plan as an enabler for environmentally optimising ATM systems at airports.
The CEM protocol has been developed in collaboration with representatives from core stakeholders of airport operators, aircraft operators, air traffic service providers, as well as trade associations and interested parties.


The adoption of the Collaborative Environmental Management (CEM)

EUROCONTROL is also working with operational stakeholders at airports to encourage the adoption of Collaborative Environmental Management (CEM), which is also part of the SESAR IP1 baseline.

CEM is a process through which the stakeholders can tackle, collectively, the joint issues that they face environmentally, particularly where aircraft operations are involved. It is unlikely that a single operational stakeholder can introduce an environmental improvement without at least the two others being involved or at the very least aware.

Building, often, on existing collaborative arrangements, CEM provides a means through which environmental issues can be dealt with strategically at airports so that commonly agreed solutions of interest to local regulators and communities can be proposed.



Sustainable airport development is essential for improving European ATM capacity and flight efficiency.  Therefore, addressing any constraints affecting sustainable airport development brings wide benefits and contributes to the overall objectives of the Single European Sky.

Many constraints relate to environmental impacts arising from air traffic operations at and around airports.  These are typically the impact on the quality of life and health of local people (noise, local air quality) and the contribution to global climate change (greenhouse gas emissions).

Social and political pressures on airports are increasing in importance.  With or without the anticipated growth in air traffic, mounting public concern and increasing regulations have made the management of these issues a critical priority for airports.

ANSPs, Airport Operators and Aircraft Operators already invest significant effort to address the environmental impacts that are caused by air traffic operations. In general these challenges cover noise and emissions management.

It is vital to ensure that considering environmental impact becomes a part of the normal operational processes, in the same way as with safety. Thus, when operational stakeholders are working together, for example to improve operational efficiency or capacity, they should also work in partnership to understand and address the environmental impact of what is being proposed and, if necessary, jointly identify robust mitigation solutions that are acceptable to all parties. This is then captured in the management system of each stakeholder.

The CEM protocol has been developed:

  • to further support awareness of business interdependencies between internal key operational stakeholders,
  • to focus on identifying the root causes of common environmental impacts and
  • to evaluate and manage potential joint solutions. 

Other examples of topics that can be addressed by CEM are: commitment to industry-led voluntary environmental impact reduction schemes; enhanced dialogue; and improvement in relations with external stakeholders.

Furthermore, adoption of the protocol will facilitate the inclusion of relevant external stakeholders and will ensure that the needs and concerns of local communities are taken into account.

In addition, the CEM approach facilitates a robust and transparent dialogue that benefits relations  with National Regulators, local and regional authorities, land-use planning authorities, local communities (including Residents’ Associations) and local businesses.



The EUROCONTROL Specification for Collaborative Environmental Management  was submitted to a formal written consultation from 24 September 2013 to 29 November 2013 using the EUROCONTROL Notice of Proposed Rule-Making (ENPRM) mechanism.

Consultation package:

All comments received have been reviewed, appropriate responses made and actions taken.

The summary of responses document was updated following the formal workshop held on 19 May 2014.




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