Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Environmental Program

Keywords

emissions, aviation, airlines

Abstract

Aviation is a growing industry with its own set of environmental impacts such as high altitude greenhouse gas emissions, use of nonrenewable fuels, and stresses to communities surrounding airports. The industry is under increasing pressure to address its impacts. One of the things that affects impacts is fleet composition. The current research mainly covers operational impacts of greenhouse gas and noise emissions of individual aircraft. In order to establish a relationship between the composition of aircraft fleets and environmental impacts, this thesis used four analyses. These analyses examined fuel consumption, exhaust emissions, noise emissions, and infrastructure congestion. A couple of generalized types of aircraft that were used for comparison were narrow versus wide body aircraft and newer versus older aircraft. It was found that older aircraft have larger environmental impacts, and the wide body aircraft do not always benefit from economies of scale in terms of environmental impacts. It was also found that airport size is more closely related to congestion than the type of route networks run from the given airport.

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