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February 2016

The ACCLAIM project kickoff meeting was held at UCL on the 12th of February, with project members from UCL, Imperial College and the University of Southampton attending. The ACCLAIM project will update the AIM model in various ways, including a full data and code update to a 2015 base year, the incorporation of passenger and airline choice models to capture factors such as routing change over time, and greatly expanded capabilities for exploring local costs and benefits associated with airports and with airport expansion. Participants in the meeting discussed progress so far in their respective areas, interfaces and data.

November 2015

A major AIM paper on the costs of mitigating emissions from passenger aircraft has been published in Nature Climate Change. Professor Andreas Schäfer and collaborators analysed the interventions available to narrowbody arcraft in the US to reduce fuel use and emissions and found that, not only are there more options for reducing emissions than are usually assumed, many of these interventions are also cost-effective at plausible near-future oil prices of $50-100 per barrel. Reductions in aircraft emissions per passenger kilometre of 2% per year are achievable using only these cost-effective interventions, with further gains possible at higher cost. For more information, see the publications page.

October 2015

A major update to the AIM model is underway! The Airport Capacity Consequences for the London region – Aviation Integrated Modelling (ACCLAIM) project begins in October 2015. This three-year UK research-council funded project, a collaboration between UCL, Imperial College and Southampton University, expands AIM capabilities to model in detail passenger and airline decision-making and the consequences on a local and global scale of decisions about airport capacity. The project aims to provide clear and consistent projections about the climate, emissions, noise and economic impacts of aviation under different airport expansion scenarios, including airline decisions to use alternate hubs and passenger decisions to avoid congested airports. More news on this exciting project to follow as research gets underway.

March 2015

The last few months have seen some major changes in AIM personnel. With the move of Dr. Lynnette Dray from Cambridge University to UCL, the AIM project is now fully based at UCL. Dr. Antony Evans has accepted a position at NASA Ames, but will remain involved in the AIM project as an affiliated researcher, and his research forms one of the key inputs to the upcoming ACCLAIM project on airport capacity.

March 2014

The Aviation Integrated Modelling Project in collaboration with US PARTNER Program colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are about to publish a special issue on Air Transportation and the Environment in Transport Policy, the official journal of the World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS). This special issue will comprise twelve papers, covering a wide range of areas, including aircraft technology, alternative fuels, airline responses to capacity constraints, environmental impacts of noise, air pollution, and climate change, and integrated modelling. For more information, see the publications page.

June 2013

Professor Andreas Schafer, Principal Investigator of the AIM project, has accepted an invitation to join the Airports Commission's External Advisory Panel. The Airports Commission was established in the Autumn of 2012 by Prime Minister David Cameron to assess the UK's future aviation capacity and connectivity needs and to make recommendations as to the best options for meeting any need for additional capacity. In addition to acting as a sounding board on scientific, economic and technical issues relevant to the Commission’s work, the Panel will also advise the Airports Commission on a range of issues including (but not limited to) aviation economics, climate change, aircraft noise, air quality, aviation technology, planning and engineering.

May 2013

A number of AIM journal papers have come out over the past year looking at a range of aviation-related topics, including aviation technology's role in reducing European transport emissions from all modes, the rebound effect on aviation demand, whether climate-neutral aviation sector growth is achievable using biofuels, and how the global aircraft fleet has evolved. See the publications page for more details. Many more papers are in the pipeline - we'll update the publications page accordingly.


Dr Antony Evans presented an lecture at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) as part of their Sustainable Aviation postgraduate course. Dr Evans presented on fleet level assessment and system-wide environmental impacts, introducing the AIM project as an example of modelling techniques for policy assessment in air transport at the systems level. He also discussed a number of the recent AIM results, showing the significance of the AIM modelling capabilities. The lecture is included here.

April 2012

AIM results were presented at the IMechE Advanced Aerospace Structures - The Environmental Challenges for Sustainability seminar this month - see the publications page for a copy. This presentation included preliminary results from a new study of the impact of composite materials on aircraft emissions. AIM researchers are also putting the finishing touches to a series of papers for publication in a special issue of Transport Policy, in collaboration with the US Partner project - watch this space for further information!

September 2010

This month saw the first presentation on results from the global AIM model. Lynnette Dray gave a talk on "The Impact of Economic Emissions Mitigation Measures on Global Aircraft Emissions" at the 10th ATIO conference in Fort Worth, Texas. This research concentrated primarily on modelling the reaction of the global aviation system to a possible global emissions trading scheme. The talk and accompanying paper are available from the AIM publications page.

July 2010

AIM research was presented at the 14th ATRS World Conference in Porto, Portugal this month. Lynnette Dray gave a talk on research carried out in collaboration with Cranfield University on the evolution of the global airline fleet, and how fleet turnover may affect the implementation of policies aimed at curbing aviation emissions. Further details are available on the publications page.
The AIM group was also joined in July by Wolfram Bosbach from TU Munich, who will be carrying out a 6-month project in Cambridge investigating airline purchasing behaviour in different world regions.

May 2010

The number of PhDs awarded for AIM-based work has risen to two, with the successful defence of Tony Evans' PhD thesis Simulating Airline Operational Responses to Environmental Constraints. Tony will remain with the AIM group as a postdoc under the EPSRC PhD Plus scheme. Tony also gave an invited talk this month to the MIT-Portugal AIRNETS workshop in Lisbon.

January 2010

AIM research was presented at the 89th annual TRB conference in Washington DC this month - see the publications page for more details and the full presentation for download.

December 2009

Following the publication of the UK Climate Change Committee's report "Meeting the UK Aviation Target - Options for Reducing Emissions to 2050", AIM have released a paper based on work done for the Climate Change Committee aimed at verifying and supporting the findings in the main Climate Change Committee report. "A Comparison of Aviation Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Europe", which also looks at UK-based aviation emissions, is available for download from the publications page.

September 2009

There was AIM involvement at the ATIO/ANERS conference in Hilton Head, SC, including papers on airline routing and scheduling and European policy analysis. AIM air quality modeller Steven Barrett also gave an invited presentation at the co-hosted ANERS conference on the global health effects of aviation. Papers and presentations are available on the publications page.

September also saw the start of the TOSCA project, an EU FP7-funded project carried out by a consortium of eight organisations across Europe, looking at technology futures for European transport. AIM will be used to carry out the intercontinental aviation modelling part of this exciting new project.

July 2009

Tom Reynolds' work on fuel based flight inefficiencies for AIM and OMEGA has won the best environment paper award at the recent FAA/Eurocontrol Air Traffic Management conference in Napa, CA. See the AIM Publications page for the paper and conference presentation, Development of Flight Inefficiency Metrics for Environmental Performance Assessment of ATM.

This month also saw Lynnette Dray give the introductory talk at the TAROM emissions trading workshop (presentations also available on the Publications Page).

June 2009

This month saw the publication of another AIM-affiliated book, Transportation in a Climate-Constrained World. Written by Andreas Schäfer, John B. Heywood, Henry D. Jacoby and Ian A. Waitz, this book presents an approachable integrated assessment of the factors affecting greenhouse gas emissions from all forms of passenger transportation, and the available options for improving transportation sustainability over the next thirty to fifty years. Further details can be obtained from MIT Press.

March 2009

The Omega Dissemination Conference took place in early March, with several presentations and posters showcasing AIM work. A full set of presentations is available here. Detailed final reports were also made available on the Omega website, including those for the Climate Related ATM, Airspace Charging and Fleet Turnover projects, all of which had significant AIM imvolvement. This month also saw the departure of Tom Reynolds to take up joint positions at MIT and Lincoln Labs.

A highly relevant new textbook has just been published with an AIM affiliation. "The Global Airline Industry", published by Wiley, is billed as providing "a definitive introduction to our air transportation system" and contains chapters on (amongst others): Economics, Markets and Demand; Airline Operating Costs; the Airline Planning Process; Airports; Air traffic control; and, Air Transport and the Environment. A chapter on Airline Flight Operations was co-written by Tom Reynolds of the AIM team. The full reference for the book is: "The Global Airline Industry", Peter Belobaba, Amedeo Odoni and Cynthia Barnhart (eds.), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester, UK, 2009. ISBN 978-0-470-74077-4.


January 2009

AIM research results were presented at several venues this month. Tony Evans presented recent results from the airport activity modelling at the Universities Transport Studies Group (UTSG) in London and integrated AIM results exploring air transport within emissions trading regimes at the 88th Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington DC. Maria Vera-Morales presented a paper on aircraft performance and emissions modelling for the AIM application at the 47th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit in Orlando, Florida. All presentations and papers can be downloaded from the Publications section.

Tom Reynolds was one of four representatives of the Omega partnership to give oral evidence at the House of Commons Transport Committee inquiry into the use of airspace in the UK. More information can be found here. He also presented the findings from two Omega studies at the Royal Society in London assessing the role of air traffic management on reducing the envrironmental impacts of aviation. More information here.


December 2008

AIM involvement in the Omega Environmental Aspects of Aircraft Fleet Turnover projects were presented at a workshop held at BERR Conference Centre in London. Full details and workshop slides can be found here.

This month also saw the publication of the Eurocontrol "Challenges of Growth 2008" report, which contained input from AIM members via the Omega consortium. This document is the third in a series of studies that aim to provide decision-makers with up-to-date assessments of the challenges presented by the increasing demand for air transport. More information here.


November 2008

AIM researchers were involved in the Omega International Conference on Alternative Aviation Fuels Workshop held at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London. Andreas Schafer gave the opening presentation entitled "Alternative Fuels for Aviation: Drivers, Opportunities and Constraints" and Maria Vera Morales presented on "Fuel Cycle Perspectives of Aviation Fuels". Delegates were from a variety of international stakeholders including FAA/PARTNER, oil companies, airframe/engine manufacturers, airlines and NGOs. See here for more information.

Tom Reynolds was invited to give the introductory presentation at the Aviation, Environment and Emissions Trading Conference held in Brussels. His presentation "Aviation and Its Environmental Effects" is available in the Publications section.


October 2008

Antony Evans was invited to present at the INFORMS Annual Meeting in Washington DC in October. His presentation, "Modelling the Future Environmental Impact of Aviation" is available in the Publications section.

AIM researchers were involved in an Omega workshop on Environmental Costs of Air Transport held at Newnham College, Cambridge. Zia Wadud presented his joint AIM/PARTNER/Omega research on "Environmental Costs of Aviation: a review of the literature" (available in the Publications section), along with presentations from other AIM researchers on topics such as Estimating Marginal Costs of Environmental Abatement for the Aviation Sector and Economic Benefits of Aviation. See here for more information.


September 2008

There were four presentations of AIM research at the 26th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences/8th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration and Operations Conference in Anchorage, Alaska on 14-19 September. This conference (details here) brought together "researchers, designers, analysts, manufacturers, integrators, and operators in a diverse program intended to foster the exchange of ideas and to spark dialogue on how to enhance aviation and the aviation system of today while preparing for the needs and issues of tomorrow." The AIM presentations were:

  • Antony Evans, "Modelling Airline Network Routing and Scheduling under Airport Capacity Constraints"
  • Tom Reynolds, "Analysis of Lateral Flight Inefficiency in Global Air Traffic Management"
  • Lynnette Dray, "Network and Environmental Impacts of Passenger and Airline Response to Cost and Delay"
  • Tom Reynolds, "Assessing Interdependencies for Approach and Takeoff Operations"

Full publications and presentation slides can be found in the Publications section.


July 2008

The 2nd Cambridge-MIT Institute Partnership Programme-funded AIM/PARTNER Aviation and the Environment Research Workshop was held at Cambridge, 28-30 July 2008 and involved around 30 representatives from Cambridge, MIT, FAA, Omega, IIT Bombay and Airports Authority India. The workshop provided brief updates on the complementary research being conducted by AIM and PARTNER since the first workshop held in January at MIT, as well as detailed updates on the collaboration areas identified at and initiated since that workshop. Relevant wider research activities ongoing at Cambridge, Omega and IIT Bombay were also discussed. It is anticipated that joint publications will be forthcoming from this workshop series, and that long term collaborations will ensue.

A number of AIM team members also visited Farnborough International Air Show in July. Environmental issues were more visible than in previous years. Highlights of the show were the flying display of the A380, followed by a tour of a brand new Kingfisher Airlines A330 (which will inaugurate the Indian carrier's first international flights this September), and a tour of the A380 given by the Airbus chief test pilot.


June 2008

The AIM team was joined this month by a visiting professor from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB). Prof. Rajkumar Pant is an expert in air transportation systems and has detailed knowledge on the specific challenges resulting from the rapid growth being experienced in India. He will be resident with the AIM team for 2 months, during which time will provide extensive data and expert guidance to enable an Indian case study to be conducted using the AIM tool. Results will be published on this website in due course.

This month also saw more presentations to key stakeholders from AIM team members:

  • Dr. Andreas Schäfer, Prof. Rex Britter, Dr. Zia Wadud, Dr. Tom Reynolds and Prof. Rajkumar Pant (IITB) all presented at the Omega Aviation Sustainability Short Course: Unlocking Greener Aviation held at Cranfield University. The course was attended by representatives from a range of stakeholder groups and presented a broad understanding of aviation’s environmental effects and options for improved sustainability performance. The AIM personnel covered overviews of economics, noise, local air quality and air traffic management.
  • Dr. Tom Reynolds was an invited speaker at the 3rd Annual Low Cost Air Transport Summit held at The Waldorf Hilton, London which brought together the leading figures from across the aviation industry for debate into the strategies shaping the evolution of the low cost air transport model. The presentation, "Environmental Challenges for Aviation: An Overview", can be downloaded from the Publications section of the website.


May 2008

AIM members were invited participants at several important international venues this month:

  • Dr. Maria Vera Morales was an invited speaker at the International Workshop on Aviation and Climate Change at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies in Toronto, Canada. The workshop aimed to initiate dialogue among academia, government, and industry, toward finding technological solutions to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from aviation. The presentation, "Incorporating New Technologies into the Aviation Integrated Modeling (AIM) Project", is available for download from the Publications section.
  • Dr. Lynnette Dray attended the Eurocontrol Long-Term Forecast 2008 (LTF08) Workshop in Brussels, Belgium in order to provide input into their aviation growth forecast scenarios.
  • Dr. Tom Reynolds presented AIM research and learned about joint US/European aviation and environment research at a technical interchange meeting with the Center for Advanced Aviation System Development (CAASD) in Washington DC, USA.


April 2008

The University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alison Richard, visited the AIM group during the official opening of the newly refurbished Department of Architecture (and new home of the AIM offices) on 16 April. The overall scope of the project and the importance of our international collaborations were highlighted.

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March 2008

AIM is engaging in collaboration with numerous partners to share knowledge and to better understand the key issues in the global air transportation system. This month saw several examples of these collaborative activities:


January 2008

A joint University of Cambridge/MIT/PARTNER Aviation and the Environment Research Workshop was held at MIT 8-10 January 2008 (download agenda here). The background to the workshop is that related research into environmental impacts of aviation is on-going at the University of Cambridge Institute for Aviation and the Environment (especially the Aviation Integrated Modelling project) and PARTNER. Hence, the Cambridge-MIT Institute Partnership Programme has funded two workshops during 2008 (this one at MIT, the other at Cambridge later this year) to facilitate knowledge transfer and to identify areas where future collaboration may be mutually beneficial. The presentation slides are available to workshop participants here.


October 2007

India has a rapidly growing air transportation system. In order to better understand this important region, Dr. Lynnette Dray and Antony Evans attended a workshop at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay (Mumbai) entitled "Civil Aviation in India Today – Emerging Patterns of Competition". They also presented AIM research (see Publications section) at a seminar in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. Discussions to define areas of mutual interest and possible collaboration activities are on-going.


September 2007

AIM work was presented by Dr. Tom Reynolds and Dr. Lynnette Dray at the 7th American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aviation Technology, Integration and Operations (ATIO) conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The presentation introduced the AIM architecture and included a case study on the US air transportation system to demonstrate current capabilities. The paper and presentation slides from the conference can be downloaded from the Publications section of this website.

Zia Wadud joined the AIM team this month from Imperial College of Science and Technology in London. Zia is working on the Regional Economics Module and is funded by Omega to undertake a systematic analysis of the literature to determine best-practise methodologies for assessing the environmental costs of aviation.


July 2007

Local Air Quality research being conducted within AIM was presented by Steven Barrett at the 11th International Conference on Harmonisation within Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling for Regulatory Purposes in Cambridge, UK. The paper describes an approach to calculate pollutant concentrations around airports with orders of magnitude lower computation time than standard industry codes, making it suitable for the integration within AIM's architecture. The paper can be downloaded from the Publications section of this website.


April 2007

This month we welcomed Dr. Maria Vera-Morales to the AIM team to lead the Aircraft Technology and Cost Module. Maria joins AIM from the Whittle Laboratory of the University of Cambridge where she was a PhD student and post-doctoral researcher.


October 2006

The AIM project started this month with funding from EPSRC and NERC. AIM is a project of the Institute for Aviation and the Environment and will be based in the Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies. The project is being lead by Dr. Andreas Schäfer, a lecturer in the Department of Architecture, and full-time members of the AIM team starting this month are Steven Barrett (Local Air Quality Module), Dr. Lynnette Dray (Air Transport Demand Module), Antony Evans (Airport Activity Module), Dr. Marcus Köhler (Global Climate Module) and Dr. Tom Reynolds (Project Manager and Aircraft Movement Module).