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Tool Suite for Environmental and Economic Aviation Modelling for Policy Analysis

Final Report Summary - TEAM_PLAY (Tool Suite for Environmental and Economic Aviation Modelling for Policy Analysis)


Executive Summary:

Public awareness of impacts of the growing air transport sector on climate change, local air quality and noise has risen and is expected to continue to rise. Numerous policy measures to tackle these challenges are under consideration or have been implemented. At the same time, there are substantial economic and social benefits of air transport for all societies in a world operating a globalised economy.

The actual effects of regulatory action are often hard to estimate and can result in trade-offs, for example between economic benefits and environmental impacts and between the individual environmental benefits themselves. Hence, the EU FP7 project TEAM_Play (Tool Suite for Environmental and Economic Aviation Modelling for Policy Analysis) was a milestone towards a European facility for the measurement of the economics and impacts of the air transport system and its related policies. Various state-of-the-art tools were combined in a tool suite, linked to a common data warehouse and then tested for selected scenarios. This combined set of tools now offers a broad range of useful modelling capabilities, all in one tool suite, which did not exist in Europe prior to this project. The use of the same input data for all modelling activities is an enabler for accurate trade-off studies as it is ensured that results from various models remain comparable (important as well is the documentation of all assumptions from all models – see the WP3 reports for examples). Moreover, comparing results from various models is a way to increase the robustness of the final numbers which would be used for evaluation policy options.

The tool suite flexibility allows for assessments to be undertaken with different approaches, methodologies and resolutions and for the results to be related to a wide range of sustainability indicators. Additionally, the potential for comparison of trends from various models within the same domain brings significantly more robustness to the results of any study.

The management of work flow and data exchanges has been setup, so it now only needs further and broader use, and most of all, actual/real applications. The TEAM_Play Data Warehouse has been proven to be very useful and easy to use for scenario data storage distributing and sharing model input and output data amongst the modelling teams. Hence, it is now possible to model new scenarios quickly if input data is provided according to the TEAM_Play data formatting guidelines (DFG). This provides a good foundation for future work.

In summary, beside connecting the individual tools and providing tested work flows for assessments, the current capabilities of the TEAM_Play tool suite are:

a) Quantification of current and future aviation impacts (considering ecology, economy, trends, technologies, policies)
b) Goal assessment (ACARE/Flightpath 2050, SESAR, IATA etc.) quantifying success level based on user-defined scenarios
c) Normative modelling (identifying requirements to reach the goals)
d) Quantified Scenarios on long term developments, providing know-how depending on various aviation internal and external trends
e) Analysis from global and European level down to local airport level
f) Data Warehouse Platform with EUROCONTROL information on European airports, allowing local assessments

Within a European Air Transport Modelling Strategy, TEAM_Play should be regarded as a nucleus for a durable European Policy and Impact Assessment Facility whose five main pillars are:

• Integration of European aviation stakeholders to identify needs for environmental and socio-economic impact assessments
• Improvement of tools and integration of new models to meet challenges emerging from new policy instruments
• Conducting individual impact and interdependencies assessment studies for current or planned aviation policies
• Implementation of durable management structures and business plans for the TEAM_Play tool suite
• Networking with other European funded projects, and collaboration with US research initiatives on interdependency modelling which are highly advanced in developing aviation policy assessment tools.

Project Context and Objectives:

For a well-balanced sustainable aviation policy it is crucial to be able to assess, in advance, the potential results of any measure or instrument. Before the start of TEAM_Play, plenty of existing models already provided singular results, some of them being represented in the list of models submitted to ICAO-CAEP. However, as a consequence of the noise/emissions/cost interdependency of policy measures, the outcome of these models was no longer persuasive.

Hence, it was vital to implement a common approach by which the models can collaborate to produce a consistent forecast for environmental (noise, LAQ, GHG) and economic effects, impacts of the air transport sector, and effects of any given measure as well as respective interdependencies. Such an integration of all competencies on the European level would lead to an integrated approach. The integration platform which was hence created within TEAM_Play is now capable of engaging different models, even if they are aimed at the same modelling task, in order to identify best-fit strategies and the validation of different modelling tools.

As such, the main objective of the TEAM_Play project was to overcome Europe’s lack of integrated modelling capabilities for the assessment of air transport environmental policies, within ICAO-CAEP and on the European, national and local levels. Therefore, following main outcomes could be achieved:

• a Data Exchange Platform with harmonised data
• a Tool Suite for environmental and economic aviation modelling
• assessment studies to demonstrate the applicability of the tool suite and to identify any gaps
• durable structures for future operational management
• dissemination of project results

Consequently, the project was broken down into five logical sequential thematic steps (WP1-WP5). These work packages were coordinated by the relevant management activities (WP6). The modelling itself was concentrated in WP2; whereas WP1 with the definition of input/output parameters and basic assumptions as well as the set-up of a data warehouse and data exchange platform served as a necessary input for the modelling work. WPs 3-5 represented the application of the toolset for assessment studies, considerations for future development, and dissemination of results, respectively.

Project Results:

WP1 provides means and harmonised data to be used in European modelling capabilities for short, medium and long term policy issues in the field of aviation & environment. Common interfaces and a central database serve as a mechanism for collecting and incorporating necessary data so that the models can work together, rely on the same input data and perform comparable assessments. The existing models differed in the way input data was handled, in particular which sources of input data is used. Previous analyses had revealed that existing models represented only stand-alone solutions, while no direct inter-links seemed feasible in the then current format. However, the problems the models address were strongly interdependent in many respects.

Therefore, it was the task of WP2 to develop specifications in order to facilitate and assure interconnectivity. WP1 and 2 have resulted in a common platform not only linking the existing models but also giving the potential for docking further models of the same thematic complex, according to the needs of the final user. The focus of WP3 was on assessment studies for three different scenarios and use cases. An output analysis has yielded in an identification of benefits and shortcomings and thus provides ideas for future improvements. The result are not only of added value for the EU and its Member States but also for the model developers which are now equipped to improve the performance of their models to the benefit of their customers, e.g. ministries, regulatory agencies or airports.

Finally, WP4 has set up a management system for the whole set of models to coordinate and organise the commercialisation and licensing, to set up business plans and to formulate a long term strategy. In addition, the scientific project coordination and the formation of an Advisory Committee were part of WP4. In WP5 the dissemination strategy were designed and applied.

The work was performed by a consortium of 18 partners from eight European countries, namely namely: of DLR (DE), NLR (NL), ENVISA (France), FOI (SWE), MMU (UK), AEA (UK), Anotec Consulting (ES), Janicke Consulting (DE), CERC (UK), COMOTI (RO), Snecma (FR), Airbus (FR), Rolls Royce (UK), University of Cambridge (UK), ENAC (FR), TAKS (NL), NAU (UA), and LimitedSkies (UK).

Potential Impact:

With regard to the future use of the Tool Suite, a concept for the durable implementation of the TEAM_Play tool suite in the context of a European Modelling Strategy has been developed. This concept was presented to the ANCAT Modelling Interdependencies Task Group (MITG) meeting in Zürich (CH) and the ECAC-ANCAT meeting in Vienna (AT), both in April 2013.

The proposal is based on the need for further activities at European level on aviation environmental modelling in support of policy analysis and policymaking, primarily to address CAEP but also national and regional environmental modelling needs. These environmental modelling activities need to be established on a long-term basis.,In particular, they should guarantee the availability (now and in the future) of a joint and permanent facility for European aviation environmental modelling, which is tailor-made and up-to-date. This will ensure a strong(er) European position in the ICAO CAEP process.

To meet this need, a roadmap for a durable organisational structure for aviation environmental modelling in Europe was developed. This organisational structure would primarily be driven by a European environmental modelling strategy. The roadmap proposes that MITG is responsible for the development of this strategy and that it in particular will consider the results from EU FP7 projects TEAM_Play and X-NOISE and other available European modelling toolsets such as the ones used in Clean Sky and SESAR work programmes. The roadmap also presents an initial set of ideas about the potential structure of this organisation, for example it suggests the setup of a research & modelling community association, and/or a European modelling partnership, and in this connection the setup of a joint and permanent facility.

List of Websites:

www.teamplay-project.eu