Evaluation of commuter airplane emissions: A European case study

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We studied a network of commuter flights in Europe (< 300 n-miles). The analysis of the network identified several connections with very short flights (100–150 n-miles) for which legitimate alternatives may be available. The short-haul network is served by a variety of turbofan and turboprop airplanes; 12 of these airplanes have been used for environmental analysis. Flights were simulated using crowd-sourced ADS-B/Mode-S data, via filtering and other mathematical treatments. Landing and take-off emissions had to be accounted by direct simulation of the missing segments in the flight trajectory. We demonstrate that these phases of flight are essential for accounting of short-haul emissions. Analysis is provided for fuel burn, CO2, NOx, CO, UHC, SOx and non-volatile particulate matter, as function of distance, altitude, city pairs. A sensitivity analysis is carried out to evaluate the effects of externalities. Finally, the continental flight network is explored with ancillary geographical information systems and identified routes that could be reviewed to reduce aviation emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102979
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Early online date24 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • Aircraft emissions
  • Short-haul flights


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