Environment

Improving aviation’s environmental performance and efficiency.

About

We put our expertise, tools and data at the service of our Member States, the European Union, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the wider aviation community.

As a result, we facilitate the measurement, monitoring and mitigation of aviation’s impact on the environment.

Through our collaborative approach, we assist our stakeholders in minimising the environmental impact of current operational performance while identifying risks and building resilience to the effects of climate change.

Together with our partners, we support the sustainable growth of airports and of the aviation system over the long term.

Focus

Market-based measures, such as emissions trading (EU’s ETS) and offsetting schemes (ICAO’s CORSIA), are part of a suite of measures to reduce aviation’s impact on the environment. We work with the European Commission, States and aircraft operators to support them in the implementation and operation of the EU ETS, reducing compliance costs.

We also contribute expertise on behalf of the European Commission to the ICAO-CAEP work to develop and implement the CORSIA offsetting scheme for international aviation. In addition, we are preparing to support implementation of the CORSIA in Europe by collecting and harmonising data for the monitoring, reporting and verification process.

The impacts of climate change, such as higher temperatures, sea-level rise and stronger storms, are an operational, infrastructure and business risk for the aviation sector. Our latest Challenges of Growth report shows that an increasing number of European aviation-sector stakeholders are aware of the risks posed by climate change, but fewer are yet to begin to adapt.

We contribute expertise and knowledge, to both the work of the ICAO-CAEP in this area and to policies on aviation and climate change developed by the European Commission (DG CLIMA).

We also develop resources on climate adaptation and resilience that provide information to support stakeholders with carrying out climate-change risk assessments and developing adaptation plans.

Since 2000, we have developed a series of models to support our Member States and the aviation community in estimating the magnitude of the environmental impacts that current or future air-traffic movements might have.

To date, we have three main models: AEM (for estimating fuel consumption and emissions), Open-ALAQS (for a detailed analysis of emissions around airports) and IMPACT (for a combined analysis of the impact of noise, fuel consumption and emissions generated). These models are used to assess future regulatory policy options such as introducing tighter aircraft noise and emissions standards and future trends.

In addition, they are recommended models for conducting environmental impact assessments in SESAR. All of these models successfully passed ICAO’s stress tests in 2008-2009. They are part of the approved suite of assessment models used by the ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP).

We provide support to stakeholders in the assessment of the environmental benefits and impacts following the implementation of new or existing operational concepts. Our support comes via a range of services: independent evaluation, audit, undertaking environmental impact assessments, or other operational and technical analyses. We liaise closely with European institutions, industry stakeholder organisations, lead the European Task Force on the implementation of CCO and CDO, and on behalf of ICAO, we lead several global environment and efficiency analyses.

In addition, we support our operational stakeholders at and around airports through the Collaborative Environmental Management (CEM) Working Arrangement, described in our CEM Specification. CEM provides a framework for operational stakeholders at an airport to collaborate and identify synergies, quantify impacts and reach compromises from an operational environmental perspective with the aim to minimise their environmental impact. The collaborative approach of the CEM Working Arrangement can support the search for solutions that ensure the maximum potential for current operations and the sustainable growth of airports.

We cooperate in Europe and worldwide to boost the capabilities of State and operational stakeholders in making coordinated actions that will minimise the environmental challenges facing the aviation sector. We work closely with DG MOVE and DG CLIMATE ACTION in the European Commission, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) in support of EU and wider European policy initiatives. We contribute to, and attend European and global industry environmental working arrangements; facilitating the exchange of knowledge and best practise.

Globally, our experts make substantial contributions to the work of the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), whose Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) is responsible for setting worldwide standards targeted at mitigating aviation’s environmental impact. This work has been key to the development of new ICAO Standards on noise, CO2, emissions offsetting (CORSIA) and particulate matter (nvPM) standards, as well as the development of guidance material that highlights best practice. We participate in the ECAC/EC European Aviation and Environment Working Group, which coordinates European contributions to ICAO.

since 2014

Free route airspace has saved  2.6 + million tonnes of CO2

in 2018

Traffic across Europe grew by 3.8% while CO2 emissions by 5.2%

by 2024

CO2 and NOX emissions are predicted to increase by 21% and 16%

Source: European Aviation Environmental Report

CO2 emissions in 2018

Departing flights from airports in European States*

source: CRCO

  • * European States that are fully incorporated in the EUROCONTROL Central Route Charges system.
  • ** For ATM and route charging purposes, Canary Islands is classified as a distinct airspace, separate from that of Spain.

©EUROCONTROL 2019

Services and projects

AFUA

Advanced flexible use of airspace

CEM

Collaborative environmental management

CCO and CDO

Continuous climb and descent operations

EIA

Environmental impact assessment

FRA

Free route airspace

Point merge

Fleet renewal could stabilise average noise levels at today’s major airports by 2030

Source: European Aviation Environmental Report

Tools

AEM

Advanced emission model

Open-ALAQS

Airport local air quality studies

FEIS

Aviation fuel use and emission inventory system

CEM Online

Collaborative environment management online

ETS-SF

European Union emissions trading system support facility

IMPACT

Integrated aircraft noise and emissions modelling platform

Our contribution includes
33 States

supported in their annual aviation emissions inventories for UNFCCC

500+

aircraft operators supported for ETS requirements data

15 years

support to the EU climate change policy

Courses

TrainingZone

Discover a unique multi-stakeholder view of aviation’s impact on the environment and the wide variety of training courses delivered by our Training Institute.