Guidance on Environmental Assessment of Proposed Air Traffic Management Operational Changes
|Publication Date:||1 January 2014|
SCOPE OF THE DOCUMENT
This guidance identifies high-level principles that facilitate the robust definition and application of specific assessment approaches, methodologies and their respective metrics. The focus of these principles is on changes that relate to aircraft and ATM operational initiatives and may involve all phases of flight (e.g. Gate-to-Gate). The general principles of this guidance can be applicable to air navigation aspects arising from infrastructure proposals and major changes to airspace capacity or throughput, as well as operational changes. While the boundaries of an air navigation services environmental analysis are based on the needs of the study, for the purposes of this guidance material "air navigation services environmental assessment" is to be interpreted in the broadest possible sense and refers to impacts arising from changes to where, when, and how aircraft are operated.
These principles could support the development of environmental "Action Plans", which can be used to report the environmental benefits expected from the implementation of the elements or modules outlined: in the ICAO Global Air Navigation Plan, States action plans on emissions reduction, or be used to further support changes that allow aviation to become more sustainable. They can also apply to the assessment of specific operational changes.
This guidance material has been developed to be applicable worldwide with no specific geographic restrictions. It is focused on assessments of environmental impacts related to operational procedural changes, airspace redesigns and other similar operational aspects. Therefore, additional guidance should be consulted for the assessment of other types of changes that do not deliver operational change, such as those related to aircraft technologies and fuels. Similarly, these principles do not cover the direct environmental impacts from facility development or operation (e.g. terminal buildings, airport access). This material is applicable for the assessment of aircraft emissions, fuel consumption and noise.
The principles in this document are high level and intended to be flexible enough to account for Statespecific requirements with respect to methodologies and metrics. The information in this document can be used to populate metrics and to support the validation and application of assessment methodologies. This includes helping to determine the types of changes that could be subject to an environmental assessment, criteria for triggering an assessment, and the environmental parameters to be assessed. The principles can also guide the definition of the geographical boundaries of an assessment and the prioritization of environmental aspects that should be assessed based on geographic area and the relative significance of the impacts being considered. The main types of environmental effects of air navigation service changes are listed, and their assessment is described at a high level.
The consideration of trade-offs between various environmental impacts and non-environmental effects is a typical analysis and policy challenge. This high-level material provides guidance on how to recognize these trade-offs, but does not provide detailed recommendations on the in-depth assessment of interdependencies.
This assessment guidance is intended to be used in the planning phase of air navigation service or other operational changes. While many of the principles described could be useful for performance measurement or environmental steering after implementation of changes, these activities are outside the scope of this document.
Many States and organizations have developed detailed descriptions of environmental assessment methods and issues. As this document is limited to the identification of high-level principles, Appendix D provides some examples of related, detailed, assessments.
The purpose of this document is to provide States, airport operators, air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and other stakeholders with environmental assessment guidance to support sound and informed decision making when analysing proposed air traffic management (ATM) operational changes. High-level principles related to the quantification of changes in aviation-related environmental impacts associated with air navigation service changes are collected in order to ensure a consistent approach to the analysis of the changes, while minimizing the risk of common assessment errors. This provides a framework within which specific, detailed assessment methodologies can be developed that meet local requirements, while facilitating global compatibility of results. It is also intended to assist with recognizing any environmental benefits associated with operational changes. While the guidance is intended to be applied broadly, it also highlights areas of priority that may need to be considered at the local level.