© Cameron Casey Pexels

Noise and environmental protection, sustainable mobility

Climate impact of air traffic

CO2 emissions are not the only contributor to man-made climate change. Concerning air traffic, they account for around one third of its climate impact, latest scientific evidence suggests. The remaining two thirds are contributed by so-called "non-CO2 effects". These are caused by the emission of nitrogen oxides, water vapor, soot, and aerosols, as well as by the effect of contrails and contrail cirrus clouds.

There is a great need for research in this area, as their sources, transport and effects have not yet been fully investigated. If all these effects are included, aviation is responsible for 3.5 percent of global warming to date.

Sustainable airport operations

Emissions are not only generated in the air – aircraft emissions also affect the ground in various ways. In addition to the climate, these include air quality, which is affected by ultra-fine particulates (UFP), for example. The sustainable operation of the airport therefore includes emission-free ground traffic, energy efficiency and waste management.

Together with partners, we are developing strategies to make airports climate-neutral and sustainable for the future. A key element of sustainable mobility here is the area of intermodality – air, rail, road – at the airport transport hub.

Aircraft noise and interference

In addition to aviation's climate goals, there are other issues directly relevant to the environment. The immediate vicinity of the airport, for example, is affected by aircraft noise to a greater extent. More than 1,400 takeoffs and landings per day were counted in Frankfurt am Main in 2019. This generates noise as a local immission that affects the surrounding area. We are therefore conducting studies on, among other things, technical options for noise reduction on aircraft as well as investigations into the causes of disturbing noise.

Thank you very much for sharing: