Alonso Rodrigo, Gustavo and Benito, A. and Lonza, L. and Kousoulidou, M.
Investigations on the distribution of air transport traffic and CO2 emissions within the European Union.
"Journal of Air Transport Management", v. 36
This study analyses the structure of air traffic and its distribution among the different countries in the European Union, as well as traffic with an origin or destination in non-EU countries. Data sources are Eurostat statistics and actual flight information from EUROCONTROL. Relevant variables such as the number of flights, passengers or cargo tonnes and production indicators (RPKs) are used together with fuel consumption and CO2 emissions data. The segmentation of air traffic in terms of distance permits an assessment of air transport competition with surface transport modes. The results show a clear concentration of traffic in the five larger countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK), in terms of RPKs. In terms of distance the segment between 500 and 1000 km in the EU, has more flights, passengers, RTKs and CO2 emissions than larger distances. On the environmental side, the distribution of CO2 emissions within the EU Member States is presented, together with fuel efficiency parameters. In general, a direct relationship between RPKs and CO2 emissions is observed for all countries and all distance bands. Consideration is given to the uptake of alternative fuels. Segmenting CO2 emissions per distance band and aircraft type reveals which flights contribute the most the overall EU CO2 emissions. Finally, projections for future CO2 emissions are estimated, according to three different air traffic growth and biofuel introduction scenarios.