MDPI publishes “A Comprehensive Survey on Climate Optimal Aircraft Trajectory Planning”

The paper “A Comprehensive Survey on Climate Optimal Aircraft Trajectory Planning” has been published by MDPI in the open access journal Aerospace. Its main writer is the PHD candidate at Carlos III University Abolfazl Simorgh, who worked in collaboration with the members of the FlyATM4E project.


The strong growth rate of the aviation industry in recent years has created significant challenges in terms of environmental impact. Air traffic contributes to climate change through carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other non-CO2 effects, and the associated climate impact is expected to soar further. Mitigation of CO2 contributions to the net climate impact can be achieved using novel propulsion, jet fuels and continuous improvements in aircraft efficiency, solutions that lack immediacy. 

On the other hand, the climate impact associated with non-CO2 emissions, responsible for two-thirds of aviation’s radiative forcing, varies greatly with geographical location, altitude and timing of emission. These effects can therefore be reduced by planning appropriate climate-sensitive trajectories. To investigate these possibilities, this paper presents a survey of operational strategies proposed in the literature to mitigate the climate impact of aviation. These approaches are classified according to their methodology, climate metrics, reliability and applicability. From this analysis, future lines of research on this topic are outlined.

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