Pressure group uncovers "suppressed" research on long term environmental impact of aviation
Fri 2 May 2008 – The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) has published details of a 2007 report that predicts the growth in GHG emissions, airport noise and local air pollution between the years 2000 and 2025. The AEF says the study confirms its view that “the rapid growth in aviation globally is set to generate massive environmental damage”.
The paper was prepared for the 7th USA-Europe Air Traffic Management R&D Seminar held in Barcelona last July and prepared by representatives from DOT Volpe Center and Wyle Laboratories in the US, Eurocontrol, QinetiQ and Manchester Metropolitan University. “The seminar organizers turned it down, however, and until now it has remained unpublished,” claims the AEF.
The study draws on the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aviation Environmental Design Tool, Model for Assessing Global Emissions of Noise from Transport Aircraft (AEDT/MAGENTA) to forecast an rise in the global population affected by aircraft noise (within the 55dB DNL contour) from nearly 24 million in 2000 to 30.3 million by 2025.
Other models have been used to predict increases in aviation emissions of NOx and CO2. The AEF has quoted the study’s use of the FAA’s AEDT/SAGE model, which forecasts global NOx emissions to increase from 2.5 million tonnes in 2000 to 6.1 million tonnes in 2025, and CO2 emissions to rise from 572 million tonnes in 2000 to 1229 million tonnes in 2025. The study, though, also uses data from the FAST model, which has lower estimates of NOx and CO2 emissions for 2000.
Jeff Gazzard, a spokesman for AEF, the principal UK environmental association on aviation matters, said he had presented the report’s key findings at a meeting last week of the all-party UK Parliamentary Sustainable Aviation Group.
“This suppressed report forecasts shocking and continually rising impacts from aviations’ major environmental impacts on a region by region basis,” says Gazzard. “Noise above WHO guideline levels is set to rise from impacting 1.4 million people in 2000 across Western Europe to 3.98 million in 2025 – an intolerable public health burden dumped unasked and unwanted on airport communities.
“And with forecast local air quality impacts from NOx levels around airports rising too, the report itself acknowledges these may lead to adverse health effects. The projected rise in aviation’s climate change impacts shows they are simply out-of-control.”
The study can be downloaded from the AEF’s website.