Research Projects

Airport Environmental Screening Tool

Develop a simplified airport emissions inventory tool for criteria pollutants.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

U.S. Airports are required to use the Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT) in order to provide information to FAA on air quality impacts associate with future airport projects. In addition the the policy-driven analyses requiring use of AEDT, there is a current need to develop a simplified tool to enable airports to conduct emissions inventories to assist with project planning and environmental screening. A simplified tool would help airports of all sizes perform basic air quality assessments with fewer resources (consulting or in-house staff).

The complexity of AEDT has left a gap in capabilities for airport practitioners. FAA is currently not involved in developing a screening tool. FAA's Airspace Environmental Screening Tool (AEST) has been discontinued and as an FAA internal tool used by the Service Centers it was never available for airport consultants. Similarly, the noise screening plugin in TARGETS is proprietary and requires an AEDT installation. Additionally, it does not provide emissions results. Our conversations with airport practitioners indicates a need for a robust and freely available screening tool to assist them in assessing preliminary environmental impacts at airports. This should include an emissions inventory and low to medium fidelity noise impacts. The screening tool should offer practitioners the ability to provide simplified aircraft operation inputs and rapidly generate screening-level environmental impacts.

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

Develop a simplified airport emissions inventory tool for criteria pollutants.

Approach (Describe in general terms the steps you think are needed to achieve the objective.)

Approach To Research:

  1. Interview airport environmental practitioners on their challenges and needs in performing screening level environmental assessments at airports. Take inventory of current methods and practices employed by airport environmental practitioners in conducting environmental screening. Identify the characteristics of a screening tool that can assist practitioners in following established regulatory processes.
  2. Design and build a screening tool to model and generate emissions inventories and noise impacts at airports. Provide a simple and easy to use interface for conducting emissions inventories and noise impact assessments. Provide a guided walk-though for inputting data and setting up the screening study. The tool should incorporate the latest in data and methods and provide a means to update the backing data as required. The tool should be in the form of a self-contained package so as not to require external software or tools. Features of the tool may include conducting screening using flight schedules (a simple list of flights that includes aircraft type), default lists of standard ground vehicles, and fixed emissions sources.
  3. Validate tool output against AEDT and provide clear guidance on the capabilities and limitations of the tool compared to AEDT.
  4. Allow the user to export scenario data in ASIF format to facilitate more detailed analysis in AEDT as desired
  5. Create a Software User's Guide for technical guidance on using the tool
  6. Provide a guidebook on best practices for using the tool and performing environmental screening at airports.
Cost Estimate and Backup (Provide a cost estimate and support for how you arrived at the estimate.)

$600,000 / 24 months
This is both an analysis and software development effort. A budget at the higher end of most ACRP projects ought to be necessary to cover these efforts.

Related Research - List related ACRP and other industry research; describe gaps (see link to Research Roadmaps above), and describe how your idea would address these gaps. This is a critical element of a synthesis topic submission.

ACRP Report 102: Guidance for Estimating Airport Construction Emissions
Airport Carbon and Emissions Reporting Tool (ACERT)
Aviation Environmental Screening Tool (AEST)
-sponsored tool
Technology Portfolio and Decision Support (TPADS)
- NASA Environmentally
Responsible Aviation sponsored tool
ASCENT no. 011-
Rapid Fleet
-wide Environmental Assessment Capability



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Idea No. 47

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