Review Policy on Environmental Issues in ATM

  • Home 2008 Review Policy on Environmental....

Review Policy on Environmental Issues in ATM

47TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Arusha, Tanzania, 10-14 March 2008

WP No. 93

Review Policy on Environmental Issues in ATM

Presented by TOC

Summary

At the 2002 IFATCA Conference in Cancun, committee B accepted policy on environmental issues in Air Traffic Management (ATM). Since then, the aviation industry has continuously grown and the focus on environmental issues has increased worldwide as well. Despite this, safety is still the overriding consideration in all aviation activities. While safety management is improving, the level of safety is more often balanced against efficiency and environment. This could result in a decrease of the level of safety while the target level of safety is still met. For this reason the Technical and Operations Committee (TOC) was tasked to review policy.

This working paper contains draft recommendations as TOC proposes to amend IFATCA’s Policy on this subject.

Introduction

1.1  At the 41st IFATCA conference in Cancun, Standing Committee 1 (SC1, now Technical and Operations Committee; TOC) presented a working paper on environmental issues in Air Traffic Control (ATC). This paper stated that environment and Air Traffic Management (ATM) seemed to get more often in conflict with the growth of air traffic, and Policy was recommended and accepted. Since 2002 the aviation industry has continuously grown and the focus on environmental issues has increased worldwide as well. For this reason TOC was tasked to review IFATCA Policy.

1.2  IFATCA Policy is:

“In the operation, maintenance and development of the ATM system:

  • When balancing the requirements of safety, efficiency and the environment, maintenance of the appropriate level of safety shall always have primacy.
  • The measurement of performance shall reflect the impact of environmental constraints.”

 

1.3  This paper will first address the components safety, efficiency and environment individually. Subsequently, the paper will focus on the balance in the framework of safety, efficiency and environment which addresses the first part of IFATCA Policy.

1.4  This working paper is closely related to agenda item B.5.10 (Developments on environmental issues in ATC).

Discussion

2.1 Safety

2.1.1  Safety has always been the overriding consideration in all aviation activities. This is reflected in the aims and objectives of ICAO as stated in Article 44 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Doc 7300), commonly known as the Chicago Convention, which charges ICAO with ensuring the safe and orderly growth of international civil aviation throughout the world.

2.1.2  While the elimination of accidents (and serious incidents) would be desirable, a one hundred per cent safety rate is an unachievable goal. Failures and errors will occur, in despite of the best efforts to avoid them. No human activity or human-made system can be guaranteed to be absolutely safe, i.e. free from risk. Safety is a relative notion whereby inherent risks are acceptable in a “safe” system.

2.1.3  ICAO Annex 11 Air Traffic Services Attachment E states:

“1.1 The introduction of the concept of acceptable level of safety responds to the need to complement the prevailing approach to the management of safety based upon regulatory compliance, with a performance based approach that aims for continuous improvement to the overall level of safety.”

2.1.4  Acceptable level of safety expresses the safety goals (or expectations) of an oversight authority, an operator or a service provider. From the perspective of the relationship between oversight authorities and operators/service providers, it provides an objective in terms of the safety performance operators/service providers should achieve while conducting their core business functions, as a minimum acceptable to the oversight authority. It is a reference against which the oversight authority can measure safety performance. In determining an acceptable level of safety, it is necessary to consider such factors as the level of risk that applies, the cost/benefits of improvements to the system, and public expectations on the safety of the aviation industry.

2.1.5  ICAO Doc 4444 Air Traffic Management states:

“2.27.3 States shall require, as part of their safety programme, that an air traffic services provider implements a safety management system acceptable to the State that, as a minimum:

a) identifies safety hazards;

b) ensures that remedial action necessary to maintain an acceptable level of safety is implemented;

c) provides for continuous monitoring and regular assessment of the safety level achieved; and

d) aims to make continuous improvement to the overall level of safety.”


2.2 Efficiency

2.2.1  ICAO DOC 9854 Global Air Traffic Management Operation Concept defines efficiency as:

“The ratio of the cost of ideal flight to the cost of procedurally constrained flight.”

An increase in efficiency will result in an increase in capacity.

2.2.2  Air traffic is a growing industry worldwide with fast expanding markets in China and India. An annual growth of around 3-7% is expected in the next 20 years, which means that 1995 traffic will have doubled by 2020. To accommodate this growth efficiency is becoming increasingly important.

2.2.3  Eurocontrol has calculated that as a result of improved performance of the European ATM system the European delay due to Air Traffic Flow and Capacity Management (ATFCM) decreased by 75% during 1999 – 2005. In the same period the European accident rate decreased by around 23% and air traffic grew by 15%. However, new ways have to be developed to provide an ATM system that will be safe while providing enough capacity and not impacting unduly on the environment.

2.2.4  The global ATM system should exploit the inherent capacity to meet airspace user demands at peak times and locations while minimizing restrictions on traffic flow. To respond to future growth, capacity must increase, along with corresponding increases in efficiency, flexibility and predictability, while ensuring that there are no adverse impacts on safety and giving due consideration to the environment.


2.3 Environment

2.3.1  The impact of aviation on the environment is increasing. While aviation is only a modest contributor to greenhouse gases, with around 2% of global emissions, flying is one of the fastest-growing emitters. An even more considerable factor is aircraft noise which is a significant concern for approximately 100 square kilometres surrounding most major airports.

2.3.2  ICAO strives to achieve a balance between the benefit accruing to the world community through civil aviation and the harm caused to the environment in certain areas through civil aviation.

2.3.3  ICAO developed a range of standards, policies and guidance material for the application of integrated measures to address aircraft noise and engine emissions embracing technological improvements, operating procedures, proper organization of air traffic, appropriate airport and land-use planning, and the use of market-based options. All of this has contributed to aircraft operations that today can be 70% more efficient than in the 1970s.

2.3.4  In 2004, ICAO adopted three major environmental goals:

–  to limit or reduce the number of people affected by significant aircraft noise

–  to limit or reduce the impact of aviation emissions on local air quality

–  to limit or reduce the impact of aviation greenhouse gas emissions on the global climate.

2.3.5  The High Level Group for the Future European Aviation Regulatory Framework, concludes in its report that there is a growing concern regarding the environmental aspect, while improving safety becomes ever more challenging with increasing traffic levels. Regulators and industry face a major challenge to secure the ‘license to grow’ for the aviation sector. To enable the further growth of aviation, the High Level Group believes that the environment must be raised to the same level of importance as safety and efficiency in the aviation system. This is not in line with IFATCA Policy which states that maintenance of the appropriate level of safety shall always have the primacy.

2.3.6  Air traffic management delays and inefficiencies can result in unnecessary emissions. Airlines repeatedly stress the benefits that improved ATM can have for the environment, and state that in the short term, ATM has the greatest potential of the currently available measures for delivering significant environmental benefits by reducing fuel burn through optimised flight paths.

2.3.7  Noise abatement procedures may have quantifiable environmental benefits. But for any noise abatement operating procedure to be adopted, it needs to be demonstrated that with appropriate crew training, it does not compromise safety.

2.3.8  Noise abatement procedures could compromise efficiency as well. Airport and airspace may be adversely impacted, particularly during high demand periods. It may be impractical to use noise preferred runways or flight procedures like CDA if they generate high levels of delay and congestion. Delay and congestion may contribute directly to incremental noise and emissions impacts.


2.4 The framework of Safety, Efficiency and Environment

2.4.1  Although safety is the most important element in aviation the other two components cannot be left out of consideration. A change in one of the components will influence the other two components as well.

2.4.2  The normal order of priority in ATM is: safety, efficiency, environment. More often this order is changed in favour of the environment, although the highest priority is still given to safety. Especially at certain airports at certain times, the environment component in ATM is favourable above efficiency. This is mainly reached by the use of special departure- and approach-procedures.

2.4.3  Air Traffic Control the Netherlands uses a method for the balancing of safety, efficiency and environment for changes in the ATM system. This is called the ‘VEM Methodiek’. This method is used for decision making based on quantitative, not qualitative, data. This leads to sharper weighing-up with possible gain with respect to efficiency and environment.

2.4.4  ICAO Doc 9854 Global Air Traffic Management Operation Concept, Appendix G states:

“2.6 Safety can never fall below minimum accepted levels. In fact, it should be argued that any change to the ATM system for an outcome not directly aimed at enhancing safety should, nonetheless, strive to achieve its net increase. This is illustrated in Figure 1.

2.7 The safety balance model indicates that, on the whole, the system needs to retain a safety tension; that is, notwithstanding having achieved an acceptable level of safety, all members of the ATM community must continually explore ways to improve safety.”

Figure 1 – The safety balance model

2.4.5 ICAO Doc 9854 Global Air Traffic Management Operation Concept identifies eleven ATM expectations that must be balanced and reiterates that safety has primacy.

Conclusions

3.1  As safety management is improving, the possibility could arise that the overall level of safety is decreased in favour of capacity or environment and still meets the acceptable level of safety. However, ICAO Doc 4444 Air Traffic Management and Annex 11 Air Traffic Services clearly state that providers should aim for a continuous improvement of the overall level of safety.

3.2  Aiming for a continuous improvement of the overall level of safety could still result in a decrease of the overall level of safety where other interests (e.g. efficiency and environment) are given high priority. IFATCA Policy states that maintenance of the appropriate level of safety shall always have the primacy. This should not result in a decrease of the level of safety but doesn’t strive for improvement of it.

3.3  Safety and efficiency present important challenges, but the environmental aspect is very important as well. The aviation industry has recognised this and is taking the responsibility to take into account the environmental aspects in the measurement of the performance. IFATCA Policy is:

“the measurement of performance shall reflect the impact of environmental constraints”

 

and this will be part of the Policy will be reviewed when TOC considers ATM Performance.

3.4  When reviewing IFATCA Policy, TOC concluded that it addresses more than just environmental issues.

Recommendations

It is recommended that;

4.1 IFATCA Policy on page 3 2 2 15 of the IFATCA Manual:

“In the operation, maintenance and development of the ATM system:

  • when balancing the requirements of safety, efficiency and the environment, maintenance of the appropriate level of safety shall always have primacy.
  • the measurement of performance shall reflect the impact of environmental constraints.”

is amended to read:

“In the operation, maintenance and development of the ATM system:

  • when balancing the requirements of safety, efficiency and the environment, the level of safety shall always be maintained or improved.
  • the measurement of performance shall reflect the impact of environmental constraints.”

References

IFATCA Manual.

The Technical and Professional Policy Manual of IFATCA 2006.

WP 91 Cancun 2002 – Environmental issues in ATM.

ICAO Doc 4444 PANS ATM.

ICAO Doc 9848 Assembly Resolutions in Force.

ICAO Doc 9859 Safety Management Manual.

ICAO Annex 11 Air Traffic Services.

Report of the High Level Group for the future European Aviation Regulatory Framework.

www.icao.int/env

ICAO Review of Noise Abatement Procedure Research & Development and Implementation Results.

Last Update: September 29, 2020  

April 11, 2020   730   Jean-Francois Lepage    2008    

Comments are closed.


  • Search Knowledgebase