How Cadmus is leading a research team to develop a tool to more accurately measure airport emissions inventories.
The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) is an applied research program that develops near-term practical solutions to problems faced by airport operators and their stakeholders. The program is managed by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies and sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). ACRP undertakes research and other technical activities across a diverse set of industry disciplines, including airport design, construction, maintenance, operations, safety, security, policy, planning, human resources, and administration.
Challenge: The takeoff phase contributes a significant fraction of certain emissions from aircraft, particularly oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and the emission rate depends in large part on the amount of thrust used. Though the current practice for modeling airport emissions assumes full takeoff thrust, operators often use reduced takeoff thrust settings, primarily to prolong engine life. It is likely that the accuracy of emissions inventories could be improved by incorporating takeoff thrust settings that better reflect actual operator practice. Airports and their stakeholders need a tool, with associated guidance information, to more accurately account for actual aircraft takeoff thrust settings and, consequently, more accurately calculate airport emissions inventories.
Solution: ACRP engaged the Cadmus team to develop a practitioner guidebook and accompanying takeoff thrust-setting estimator tool. Following an initial comprehensive literature review, the team is gathering and analyzing data from several airlines and airports in the United States and overseas. The team is developing, validating, and testing the tool, and integrating the tool with FAA’s existing suite of environmental tools, including the Aviation Environmental Design Tool.
Results: Upon completion, the tool will be provided to airports and their stakeholders for use at their locations, along with the guidebook. A comprehensive final report will document all aspects of the research behind the tool’s development. In addition, the research results will be disseminated to promote stakeholder awareness among airport staff, consultants, and in governmental air quality agencies.