Environmental impact assessment


Environmental impact assessment is the process of identifying and evaluating the environmental impacts of projects as well as proposing ways of mitigating such impacts. The scope of such assessments, as they relate to air traffic management (ATM), is not only the impact on the environment of aircraft operations but also the impact of any mitigations to such environmental impacts on aircraft operations.

In support of the quantification part of the environmental impact assessment process, we at EUROCONTROL have developed and maintain three models: AEM for global fuel/emissions impact assessments, Open-ALAQS for detailed airport air quality assessments, and IMPACT for advanced fuel/emissions and noise impact assessments.


The EIA process and tools provide a common approach to environmental impact assessments using a common set of advanced applications that will ensure consistency and significantly improve comparability between studies.

Environmental impact assessment tools

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 since been significantly improved upon as knowledge of aviation and environment modelling has grown and computing technologies have evolved.

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

All three models successfully passed ICAO’s stress tests in 2008-2009 and have since become part of the approved suite of assessment models used by 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.

How to access the Eurocontrol EIA tools?

Any organisation or company residing in a EUROCONTROL Member State, or in a State with which an agreement has been signed can make use of this service.

Access to AEM, Open-ALAQS, and IMPACT should be requested via email from the respective support team (see the Contacts box). In each case, a licence agreement needs to be signed.

AEM and Open-ALAQS are available for free. Access to the IMPACT web-based application is subject to the User Pay Principle, which means that a fee could be requested in some cases.