LFV contributing with smart solutions for more sustainable air traffic

Created on 20.04.2017 17:40

Using data from LFV, FOI (the Swedish Defence Research Agency) has been able to improve calculations of the environmental impact of aviation. At the same time, the project has added to the bank of knowledge that could lead to lower fuel consumption and thus a reduction of the climate impact in the future.

Together with FOI, the Swedish Transport Agency and LFV have invested research funds to conduct a research project that could improve the model that FOI uses to calculate the quantities of emissions from aircraft.

Up until now, calculations of emissions from aircraft in Sweden have assumed the straightest and shortest routes. However, airlines do not usually fly the shortest routes.

In this project, FOI has obtained access via LFV to the radar tracks from a total of 2,200 domestic flights during a few weeks in 2016. By studying the radar tracks, FOI has been able to refine its calculation model and bring down the difference between estimated and actual flight paths by about 8%.

"Through including a fuel model in our radar analysis tool, we can help FOI and the Transport Agency to make more precise calculations of emissions from Swedish aircraft. We will also be able to analyse how fuel consumption is affected by changes in airspace and working methods. It creates benefit and value for the airlines, which will also have more data to develop their operations and improve sustainability," says Patrik Bergviken, air traffic controller at Landvetter Airport and participant in the project.

Another area of study is the high-altitude effect, i.e. the particular climate impact of emissions that occur at high altitude. In this context FOI has noted that turboprop aircraft very seldom fly high enough to give rise to high altitude effects. As regards turbojet aircraft, more research is needed to show how often they fly high enough to produce high altitude effects.