EASA’s mandate is to promote a high and uniform level of environmental protection for European citizens. The Agency supports the development and maintenance of ICAO global environmental standards for aircraft noise and engine emissions, and implements these standards on behalf of EASA Member States. These standards are reflected in Article 6 of the Basic Regulation, Annex I (Part-21) to the Implementing Rules for the airworthiness and environmental certification of aircraft and related products, the Certification Specifications CS-34 (emissions) and CS-36 (noise).
The verification of compliance with the aircraft noise and aircraft engine emissions standards is fully integrated into the aircraft and engine certification process. EASA issues the appropriate environmental certificates (i.e. the type-certificate data sheets for noise), and maintains a database of EASA approved noise levels. These data sheets and certificates are the basis against which EASA States issue noise certificates to aircraft on their registers. The Agency also maintains and hosts the ICAO aircraft engine emissions databank.
In order to monitor the environmental performance of the aviation sector, EASA publishes the European Aviation Environmental Report on a periodical basis, develops impact assessment tools and funds research projects in collaboration with the European Commission and other European agencies.
European Aviation Environmental Report
EASA publishes the European Aviation Environmental Report, jointly developed with the European Environment Agency (EEA) and EUROCONTROL. The report provides an overview of the sector’s historic and forecast environmental impact together with the various mitigation measures that are being implemented, including aircraft technology and design, air traffic management improvements, airport initiatives, alternative fuels, market-based measures and climate change adaptation. The first version of the report was released in 2016, and is due to be updated every three years.
EASA funds and monitors various research projects in the field of aviation and environment. In particular, the Agency has funded a series of measurement campaigns over the last eight years aimed at improving the sampling and measurement of aircraft engine particulate matter (PM) emissions. The Agency also provides technical support in research projects managed by the European Commission.
The list of EASA-funded research projects on environment can be found here.
Impact Assessment Tools
EASA develops and maintains high-quality modelling tools to assess the past and future environmental impact of aviation, as well as the cost-effectiveness of various mitigation policy measures. These tools are used to support the Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIA) performed by the Agency as part of its standard setting process. They also feed information into the European Aviation Environmental Report.
AERO-MS is a tool that can examine the impacts of different policies intended to reduce international and domestic aviation greenhouse gas emissions. The model is able to assess the consequences of a wide range of policy measures aimed at reducing aviation CO2 emissions (including technological, operational and market based measures).
Policy measures can affect the supply side costs of the industry, which may lead to airlines increasing prices to customers. The AERO-MS forecasts the extent to which demand for air travel is reduced due to higher prices, and the changes in the structure of the global fleet with respect to fuel efficient technology.
The SysTem for AirPort noise Exposure Studies (STAPES) is a multi-airport noise model jointly developed by EASA, the European Commission and EUROCONTROL. The tool is able to compute noise contours and the population inside those contours for a large number of airports and scenarios.
STAPES relies on a comprehensive database of flight movements at the airports in Europe (around 50) with the greatest noise impact (measured by the population inside the 55 dB Lden noise contours as reported by Member States under Directive 2002/49/EC). The airport database is expanded and maintained on a regular basis to account for changes in local operations. The model can also be used as a standalone tool to produce noise maps and population counts at any airport. STAPES complies with the latest international guidance on aircraft noise modelling (EU Directive 2015/996, ECAC Doc 29, ICAO Doc 9911).
The Aircraft Assignment Tool (AAT) is a fleet and operations forecasting model jointly developed by EASA, the European Commission and EUROCONTROL. The tool converts a passenger demand forecast into detailed operations by aircraft type and airport pair for a given future year and scenario, taking into account aircraft retirements and the introduction of new aircraft into the fleet. AAT can be used to predict future aircraft operations at either the European or global level.