Special Issue "Sustainability of Air Transport System: A Quantitative Assessment of Current and Future Developments"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Transportation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Milan Janić

Guest Editor
Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 2628 BX, Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: analysis, modelling, planning, and design of transport modes and their systems including their sustainability; indicators and measures of the infrastructural, technical/technological, operational, economic, environmental, social, and policy performances of transport modes and their systems; multi-criteria evaluation of particular transport systems as either complementing or competing transport alternatives

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The air transport system generally includes demand and supply components, represented by the main actors/stakeholders involved. The former generally includes users (air passengers) and air freight/cargo shippers/receivers. The latter includes the airlines, airports, air traffic control, aerospace manufacturers, local communities around airports, and dedicated regional, national, and international regulatory/policy authorities (bodies). So far the system has grown at an average annual rate of about 5% in passenger and 6% in freight/cargo traffic. Such development has consequently created both positive effects/benefits and negative impacts/costs on society and the environment. The former have generally included a contribution to the globalization of the world’s economy, local and global employment, and overall user welfare. The latter have included increasing local noise around airports, congestion and delays of transport services/flights and their users, an inherent increasing risk of incidents/accidents, emissions of GHGs contributing to global warming and climate change, land use, and waste. Under expectations of the continuous future growth of demand, the sustainability of air transport systems can generally be considered as balancing, that is, widening the gap between the above-mentioned effects/benefits and impacts/costs in the medium- to long-term future.

The particular above-mentioned actors/stakeholders involved may have different interpretations and approaches in dealing with the system’s sustainability and its particular components, including defining, modelling, and quantifying the relevant indicators for its measurement and monitoring, and consequently undertaking the necessary measures to achieve their specific targets.

An assessment and operationalization of the concept of a sustainable air transport system has been recognized as an important but complex research, operational, and policy task/problem. In the scope of the overall efforts to properly deal with this task/problem, this Special Issue intends to provide some academic/scientific contribution.

Therefore, you are invited to submit the results of your research containing quantitative rather than the qualitative approaches in dealing with sustainability in the given context. This implies applying the existing methods/tools to new problems/cases, developing the new methods and applying them to existing problems/cases, or both simultaneously—the new methods applying to the new problem/cases—all aiming at quantifying the abovementioned effects/benefits and/or impacts/costs relevant for airlines, airports, and air traffic control as the main actors/stakeholders.

Prof. Dr. Milan Janić
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • air transport system
  • airlines, airports, air traffic control
  • sustainability
  • effects/benefits
  • impacts/costs
  • quantitative approach

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Investigating the Accessibility between Civil Airports and Tourist Locations in Tourist Cities in Yunnan Province, China
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 3963; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12103963 - 12 May 2020
Abstract
Coordinated development between landside transport at civil airports and aviation networks is key for determining the attractiveness and competition of tourist cities. However, only a few studies have focused on the accessibility of tourist locations around civil airports in tourist cities in China. [...] Read more.
Coordinated development between landside transport at civil airports and aviation networks is key for determining the attractiveness and competition of tourist cities. However, only a few studies have focused on the accessibility of tourist locations around civil airports in tourist cities in China. This paper calculates the service coverage of civil airports for tourist locations in Yunnan in selected years, consisting of 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015, by using an accessibility calculation method with the shortest path and a spatial analysis method in ArcGIS software. The results are compared with the structural characteristics of the aviation network in corresponding years. Additionally, some suggestions are given regarding transportation development and sustainable environmental development in tourist cities. The findings show that the service coverage of civil airports in Yunnan has gradually improved over time. Specifically, 83.41% of tourist locations can be reached within 1.5 h of driving from an airport, and all tourist destinations could be reached within 3 h in 2015. Among all civil airports, the airports in the hub city of Kunming and at world-renowned tourist destinations such as Dali and Lijiang displayed the highest airport service capabilities for tourist locations. Meanwhile, the aviation network of Yunnan Province is constantly improving with an increased number of airports and airlines, and it shows the centralization trend toward KMG. However, the mismatch is observed not only in tourist cities with hub airports, such as Kunming, but also in some cities located in remote areas (i.e., far from the central city). This finding reveals that in these tourist cities in Yunnan, the development of airport transport has not considered coordination between the airline network and the service coverage of civil airports for tourist locations. For the sustainable development of tourist cities, the equal importance of airport landside transport and the airline network in the planning and management of air transport should be emphasized. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Jet Fuel Tax Changes on Air Transport, Employment, and the Environment in the US
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3352; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083352 - 20 Apr 2020
Abstract
This paper presents an analysis of the effects of jet fuel taxes on air traffic, employment and emissions using a difference-in-difference design. These findings are relevant, as US airports identify how to respond to revenue shortfalls and support local employment in the recovery [...] Read more.
This paper presents an analysis of the effects of jet fuel taxes on air traffic, employment and emissions using a difference-in-difference design. These findings are relevant, as US airports identify how to respond to revenue shortfalls and support local employment in the recovery after Covid-19. Jet fuel tax cuts are considered pro-growth by airlines and stakeholders, however, limited research documents the impacts on airline operations, employment, and emissions, which is an increasing issue given growing societal concerns about aviation sustainability. This study provides an analysis of the effects of changes in jet fuel taxes on air travel, employment, and the environment, using a difference-in-differences design based on data from major US airlines at several US hubs. Results suggest that a jet fuel tax cut increases air traffic by 0.2% on average but fades within a year. The direct effect on air transportation employment is insignificant, as is the effect on total employment. The estimated effect on pollution is an increase of over 1% in CO2, CH4, and N2O emissions. These findings illustrate the precarious balance between air transport growth, local employment, and environmental concerns, and may aid policymakers as they consider potential changes to jet fuel taxes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment Method of Fuel Consumption and Emissions of Aircraft during Taxiing on Airport Surface under Given Meteorological Conditions
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6110; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216110 - 02 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Reducing fuel consumption and emissions of aircrafts during taxiing on airport surfaces is crucial to decrease the operating costs of airline companies and construct green airports. At present, relevant studies have barely investigated the influences of the operation environment, such as low visibility [...] Read more.
Reducing fuel consumption and emissions of aircrafts during taxiing on airport surfaces is crucial to decrease the operating costs of airline companies and construct green airports. At present, relevant studies have barely investigated the influences of the operation environment, such as low visibility and traffic conflict in airports, reducing the assessment accuracy of fuel consumption and emissions. Multiple aircraft ground propulsion systems on airport surfaces, especially the electric green taxiing system, have attracted wide attention in the industry. Assessing differences in fuel consumption and emissions under different taxiing modes is difficult because environmental factors were hardly considered in previous assessments. Therefore, an innovative study was conducted based on practical running data of quick access recorders and climate data: (1) Low visibility and taxiing conflict on airport surfaces were inputted into the calculation model of fuel consumption to set up a modified model of fuel consumption and emissions. (2) Fuel consumption and emissions models under full- and single-engine taxiing, external aircraft ground propulsion systems, and electric green taxiing system could accurately estimate fuel consumption and emissions under different taxiing modes based on the modified model. (3) Differences in fuel consumption and emissions of various aircraft types under four taxiing modes under stop-and-go and unimpeded aircraft taxiing conditions were obtained through a sensitivity analysis in Shanghai Pudong International Airport under three thrust levels. Research conclusions provide support to the airport management department in terms of decision making on taxiway optimization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Options to Continue the EU ETS for Aviation in a CORSIA-World
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5703; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205703 - 15 Oct 2019
Abstract
From 2021, an increasing percentage of the carbon emission growth in international air transport will be subject to offsetting under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). Presently, it is still unclear if, and how, the existing EU emissions trading [...] Read more.
From 2021, an increasing percentage of the carbon emission growth in international air transport will be subject to offsetting under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). Presently, it is still unclear if, and how, the existing EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) for aviation will continue. We assess the environmental impacts of different options (not) to continue with the EU ETS for aviation alongside CORSIA, and also discuss resulting monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) requirements. Our results indicate that any form of continuation of the EU ETS would have positive environmental effects especially in the early 2020s, when the coverage and environmental impact of CORSIA, which only tackles any post-2020 emission growth in international aviation, will still be low. If, moreover, a certain failure of CORSIA Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) to actually achieve emission reduction elsewhere is assumed, the environmental net benefit of CORSIA will be even lower. From both the policy and economic perspectives, these aspects may further strengthen the need to continue with the EU ETS for aviation. Possible options are to maintain the EU ETS in operation for domestic flights only, as a complement to CORSIA, or to keep it alive even for international flights within the European Economic Area (EEA), replacing CORSIA there as an equivalent measure. Another option to increase the environmental effectiveness of CORSIA, at least to some extent, could be to voluntarily extend it to domestic EEA flights. Administrative-wise, the CORSIA MRV system could be applied to a continued EU ETS to reduce transaction costs and to assure globally similar or even identical MRV standards, e.g., with regard to exemptions and eligible fuel monitoring methods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Qualitative Comparative Analysis and Support Vector Machine Methods to Reduce Passengers’ Resistance to Biometric E-Gates for Sustainable Airport Operations
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5349; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195349 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
For the sake of maintaining sustainable airport operations, biometric e-gates security systems started receiving significant attention from managers of airports around the world. Therefore, how to reduce flight passengers’ perceived resistance to the biometric e-gates security system became much more important than ever. [...] Read more.
For the sake of maintaining sustainable airport operations, biometric e-gates security systems started receiving significant attention from managers of airports around the world. Therefore, how to reduce flight passengers’ perceived resistance to the biometric e-gates security system became much more important than ever. In this sense, the purpose of this study is to analyze the factors which contribute to passenger’s resistance to adopt biometric e-gate technology within the airport security setting. Our focus lies on exploring the effects that perceived risks and benefits as well as user characteristics and propagation mechanisms had on causing such resistance. With survey data from 339 airport users, a support vector machine (SVM) model was implemented to provide a tool for classifying resistance causes correctly, and csQCA (crisp set Qualitative Comparative Analysis) was implemented in order to understand the complex underlying causes. The results showed that the presence of perceived risks and the absence of perceived benefits were the main contributing factors, with propagation mechanisms also showing a significant effect on weak and strong resistance. This study is distinct in that it has attempted to explore innovation adoption through the lens of resistance and in doing so has uncovered important complex causation conditions that need to be considered before service quality can be enhanced within airports. This study’s implications should therefore help steer airport managers in the right direction towards maintaining service quality while implementing sustainable new technologies within their current airport security ecosystem. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fuel Consumption Model of the Climbing Phase of Departure Aircraft Based on Flight Data Analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4362; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164362 - 12 Aug 2019
Abstract
Accurate estimation of the fuel consumed during aircraft operation is key for determining the fuel load, reducing the airline operating cost, and mitigating environmental impacts. Aerodynamic parameters in current fuel consumption models are obtained from a static diagram extracted from the outcomes of [...] Read more.
Accurate estimation of the fuel consumed during aircraft operation is key for determining the fuel load, reducing the airline operating cost, and mitigating environmental impacts. Aerodynamic parameters in current fuel consumption models are obtained from a static diagram extracted from the outcomes of wind tunnel experiments. Given that these experiments are performed in a lab setting, the parameters cannot be used to estimate additional fuel consumption caused by aircraft performance degradation. In addition, wind tunnel experiment results rarely involve the influence of crosswind on fuel consumption; thus, the results could be inaccurate when compared with field data. This study focuses on the departure climbing phase of aircraft operation and proposes a new fuel consumption model. In this model, the relationships between aerodynamic parameters are extracted by fitting quick access recorder (QAR) actual flight data, and the crosswind effect is also considered. Taking QAR data from two airports in China, the accuracy of the proposed model and its transferability are demonstrated. Applying the proposed model, the fuel saving of a continuous climb operation (CCO) compared with the traditional climb operation is further quantified. Finally, how aircraft mass, climbing angle, and different aircraft models could affect the fuel consumption of the climbing phase of aircraft operation is investigated. The proposed fuel consumption model fills gaps in the existing literature, and the method can be used for developing specific fuel consumption models for more aircraft types at other airports. Full article
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