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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. For Greener Skies: Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10353.
×

FOR Greener Skies

Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation

Committee on Aeronautics Research and Technology for Environmental Compatibility

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. For Greener Skies: Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10353.
×

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Contract No. NASW 99037. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number: 0-309-08337-0

Available in limited supply from: Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, HA-292, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20418, (202) 334-2855.

Additional copies available for sale from:
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2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055, (800)-624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area), http://www.nap.edu

Cover artwork by Nila Rusnell Oakes. Stratus Composition, 1999, oil on canvas, 48” × 48”.

Internet: http://www.nilaoakes.com

Copyright 2002 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. For Greener Skies: Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10353.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

National Academy of Sciences

National Academy of Engineering

Institute of Medicine

National Research Council

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. For Greener Skies: Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10353.
×

COMMITTEE ON AERONAUTICS RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL COMPATIBILITY

JOHN A. DUTTON, Chair,

Pennsylvania State University, University Park

DONALD BAHR,

NAE, GE Aircraft Engines (retired), Cincinnati, Ohio

FRANK BERARDINO,

GRA, Inc., Jenkintown, Pennsylvania

BENJAMIN A. COSGROVE,

NAE, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group (retired), Seattle, Washington

RANDALL GUENSLER,

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta (resigned, effective January 2001)

S. MICHAEL HUDSON,

Rolls-Royce North America Holdings (retired), Indianapolis, Indiana

NICHOLAS P. KRULL,

Federal Aviation Administration (retired), Tulsa, Oklahoma

RICH NIEDZWIECKI,

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (retired), Brunswick, Ohio

AKKIHEBAL R. RAVISHANKARA,

NAS, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado

BRADFORD STURTEVANT,

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (deceased)

RAY VALEIKA,

Delta Air Lines, Atlanta, Georgia

IAN A. WAITZ,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Liaison to the Committee

ANTHONY J. BRODERICK, Aviation Safety Consultant,

Catlett, Virginia

Staff

JENNIFER PINKERMAN, Study Director

GEORGE LEVIN, Director, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board

ALAN ANGLEMAN, Senior Program Officer

MARVIN WEEKS, Senior Project Assistant

MARY LOU AQUILO, Senior Project Assistant/Financial Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. For Greener Skies: Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10353.
×

AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD

WILLIAM W. HOOVER, Chair,

U.S. Air Force (retired), Williamsburg, Virginia

A. DWIGHT ABBOTT,

Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles, California

RUZENA K. BAJSCY,

NAE, IOM, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

WILLIAM F. BALLHAUS, JR.,

The Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles, California

JAMES (MICKY) BLACKWELL,

Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired), Marietta, Georgia

ANTHONY J. BRODERICK,

Aviation Safety Consultant, Catlett, Virginia

DONALD L. CROMER,

U.S. Air Force (retired), Lake Arrowhead, California

ROBERT A. DAVIS,

The Boeing Company (retired), Blaine, Washington

JOSEPH FULLER, JR.,

Futron Corporation, Bethesda, Maryland

RICHARD GOLASZEWSKI,

GRA, Inc., Jenkintown, Pennsylvania

JAMES M. GUYETTE,

Rolls-Royce North America, Reston, Virginia

FREDERICK H. HAUCK,

AXA Space, Bethesda, Maryland

JOHN L. JUNKINS,

NAE, Texas A&M University, College Station

JOHN K. LAUBER,

Airbus Service Company, Miami Springs, Florida

GEORGE K. MUELLNER,

The Boeing Company, Seal Beach, California

DAVA J. NEWMAN,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

JAMES G. O’CONNOR,

NAE, Pratt & Whitney (retired), Coventry, Connecticut

MALCOLM R. O’NEILL,

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Bethesda, Maryland

CYNTHIA SAMUELSON,

Logistics Management Institute, McLean, Virginia

WINSTON E. SCOTT,

Florida State University, Tallahassee

KATHRYN C. THORNTON,

University of Virginia, Charlottesville

ROBERT E. WHITEHEAD,

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (retired), Henrico, North Carolina

DIANNE WILEY,

Boeing Phantom Works, Huntington Beach, California

THOMAS L. WILLIAMS,

Northrop Grumman, EL Segundo, California

Staff

GEORGE LEVIN, Director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. For Greener Skies: Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10353.
×
This page in the original is blank.
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. For Greener Skies: Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10353.
×

Preface

Each new generation of commercial aircraft produces less noise and fewer emissions per passenger-kilometer (or ton-kilometer of cargo) than the previous generation. However, the demand for air transportation services grows so quickly that total aircraft noise and emissions continue to increase. Meanwhile, federal, state, and local noise and air quality standards in the United States and overseas have become more stringent. It is becoming more difficult to reconcile public demand for inexpensive, easily accessible air transportation services with concurrent desires to reduce noise, improve local air quality, and protect the global environment against climate change and depletion of stratospheric ozone. This situation calls for federal leadership and strong action from industry and government.

U.S. government, industry, and universities conduct research and develop technology that could help reduce aircraft noise and emissions—but only if the results are used to improve operational systems or standards. For example, the (now terminated) Advanced Subsonic Technology Program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) generally brought new technology only to the point where a system, subsystem model, or prototype was demonstrated or could be validated in a relevant environment. Completing the maturation process—by fielding affordable, proven, commercially available systems for installation on new or modified aircraft—was left to industry and generally took place only if industry had an economic or regulatory incentive to make the necessary investment. In response to this situation, the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, and the Environmental Protection Agency, asked the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Research Council to recommend research strategies and approaches that would further efforts to mitigate the environmental effects (i.e., noise and emissions) of aviation.

The statement of task required the Committee on Aeronautics Research and Technology for Environmental Compatibility to assess whether existing research policies and programs are likely to foster the technological improvements needed to ensure that environmental constraints do not become a significant barrier to growth of the aviation sector. This assessment was required to answer the following questions:

  • What lessons can be learned from previous U.S. research investments in environmental controls for the aviation sector?

  • Where are the most attractive opportunities for research and technology investments to ensure that expected growth in the aviation sector will be consistent with environmental protection goals?

  • What approach should the U.S. government use and how should it interact with the private sector and other research establishments (in the United States and overseas) to carry out governmental responsibilities for investing in technology for mitigating the environmental effects of aircraft noise and emissions?

The goal of this assessment was to recommend a framework for government research policies and programs aimed at achieving technological change fast enough for commercial aviation to grow in an environmentally sustainable manner. The recommended approach should be consistent with agency roles and missions as defined in existing legislation. The focus of the study was on commercial aviation and did not include intermodal issues, such as how the air transportation system could be modified in concert with other elements of the total transportation system to reduce the overall environmental impact of transportation.

The tragic attacks of September 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon had a serious and immediate impact on the U.S. air transportation system. The long-term implications remain to be seen. This study is based on the expectation that the reduction in air travel following the attacks is a temporary perturbation of the historic trend of increasing demand for air travel. Thus, the current period of

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. For Greener Skies: Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10353.
×

reduced air travel does not solve the environmental challenges associated with aviation, although it may provide additional time to address those challenges.

John A. Dutton, Chair

Committee on Aeronautics Research and Technology for Environmental Compatibility

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. For Greener Skies: Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10353.
×

Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council (NRC). The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Richard Anthes, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Meyer Benzakein, NAE, General Electric Aircraft Engines

Alexander H. Flax, NAE, Consultant

William Galloway, NAE, Consultant

Christopher Grant, Embry-Riddle University

Michael Prather, University of California at Irvine

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Robert Frosch, NAE, Harvard University. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. For Greener Skies: Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10353.
×

Acknowledgment of Participants and Contributors

The committee appreciates the assistance of the following individuals, who provided information to the committee at its information-gathering meetings.

Scott Belcher, Air Transport Association of America

Meyer (Mike) Benzakein, GE Aircraft Engines

Larry Craig, The Boeing Company

Jim DeLong, Research, Engineering, and Development Advisory Committee of the Federal Aviation Administration

Charles Kolb, Aerodyne Research, Inc.

Richard Marchi, Airports Council International – North America

Cindy Newberg, Environmental Protection Agency

Robert Pearce, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Joyce Penner, University of Michigan

Ram Uppuluri, Environmental Defense

Howard Wesoky, Federal Aviation Administration

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. For Greener Skies: Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10353.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. For Greener Skies: Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10353.
×
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Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. For Greener Skies: Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10353.
×

Tables, Figures, and Boxes

TABLES

1-1

 

U.S. Energy Consumption Fractions, 1999,

 

9

1-2

 

Estimated Time for the 50 Busiest U.S. Airports to Reach Capacity,

 

11

1-3

 

Perceived Priorities of Consumers and Industry,

 

12

1-4

 

NASA’s Goals for Reducing the Environmental Effects of Future Aircraft,

 

13

2-1

 

Effects of Noise on People,

 

18

2-2

 

Nongovernmental Organizations Devoted to Reducing Aviation Noise,

 

23

2-3

 

Goals, Objectives, and Approaches for Elements of NASA’s Quiet Aircraft Technology Program,

 

27

3-1

 

Typical Aircraft Turbine Engine Exhaust Gas Composition at Cruise Operating Conditions,

 

33

3-2

 

Global, Regional, and Local Effects of Aircraft Emissions,

 

34

5-1

 

Comparison of Federal Expenditures for Noise Abatement (by the FAA) with Expenditures for Noise and Emissions Research and Technology (by the FAA and NASA),

 

43

FIGURES

ES-1

 

Historical trends in aircraft noise compared with NASA’s noise goals,

 

3

ES-2

 

Decadal trends for demand, efficiency, and fuel usage,

 

4

1-1

 

Environmental issues that most concern officials at the 50 busiest U.S. airports,

 

8

1-2

 

Sources of energy in the United States,

 

9

1-3

 

Decadal trends for demand, efficiency, and fuel usage,

 

10

1-4

 

Effects of demand (in terms of revenue-passenger-kilometers) on the production of NOx and CO2 and on fuel consumption,

 

11

2-1

 

Trends in aircraft noise levels: effective perceived noise level during takeoff for aircraft at maximum takeoff weight as a function of certification date,

 

17

2-2

 

Extent of high-noise areas around San Francisco International Airport, 1998-1999,

 

19

2-3

 

Estimated trends in number of people affected by aircraft noise in the United States,

 

20

2-4

 

Historical growth in mobility provided by U.S. commercial aviation,

 

21

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. For Greener Skies: Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10353.
×

2-5

 

Trends in aircraft noise regulation: Number of airports worldwide imposing various constraints and charges as a function of time,

 

22

2-6

 

NASA technology readiness levels,

 

24

2-7

 

Federal investments to reduce source noise,

 

24

2-8

 

Federal investments in noise abatement,

 

25

2-9

 

Ratio of federal funds spent on local noise abatement projects to funds spent by the FAA and NASA on noise research and technology,

 

25

2-10

 

Historical trends in aircraft noise compared with NASA’s noise goals,

 

26

2-11

 

Changes in the composition of the commercial fleet, 1994 to 2011,

 

28

3-1

 

Funding for emissions research,

 

32

3-2

 

Allocations of NASA’s emissions research funding,

 

32

3-3

 

Radiative forcing caused by the global fleet of commercial subsonic aircraft as of 1992,

 

37

5-1

 

Comparison of federal expenditures for noise abatement (by the FAA) with expenditures for noise and emissions research and technology (by the FAA and NASA),

 

43

BOXES

1-1

 

Federal Responsibilities,

 

8

2-1

 

Example of Delays in Runway Expansion Due in Part to Aviation Noise,

 

16

2-2

 

Examples of Flight Delays and Cancellations Directly Caused by Aircraft NoiseRestrictions,

 

16

2-3

 

Aviation Noise Challenges,

 

19

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. For Greener Skies: Reducing Environmental Impacts of Aviation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10353.
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Each new generation of commercial aircraft produces less noise and fewer emissions per passenger-kilometer (or ton-kilometer of cargo) than the previous generation. However, the demand for air transportation services grows so quickly that total aircraft noise and emissions continue to increase. Meanwhile, federal, state, and local noise and air quality standards in the United States and overseas have become more stringent. It is becoming more difficult to reconcile public demand for inexpensive, easily accessible air transportation services with concurrent desires to reduce noise, improve local air quality, and protect the global environment against climate change and depletion of stratospheric ozone. This situation calls for federal leadership and strong action from industry and government.

U.S. government, industry, and universities conduct research and develop technology that could help reduce aircraft noise and emissions-but only if the results are used to improve operational systems or standards. For example, the (now terminated) Advanced Subsonic Technology Program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) generally brought new technology only to the point where a system, subsystem model, or prototype was demonstrated or could be validated in a relevant environment. Completing the maturation process-by fielding affordable, proven, commercially available systems for installation on new or modified aircraft-was left to industry and generally took place only if industry had an economic or regulatory incentive to make the necessary investment. In response to this situation, the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, and the Environmental Protection Agency, asked the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Research Council to recommend research strategies and approaches that would further efforts to mitigate the environmental effects (i.e., noise and emissions) of aviation. The statement of task required the Committee on Aeronautics Research and Technology for Environmental Compatibility to assess whether existing research policies and programs are likely to foster the technological improvements needed to ensure that environmental constraints do not become a significant barrier to growth of the aviation sector.

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