The Role of Route Optimization in Mitigation of Aircraft Emissions and Increasing Energy Efficiency by Akash Kumar

About the Author: Asst. Prof. Akash Kumar is working as an Assistant Professor at School of Law, MATS University, Raipur


Environmental concerns in aviation have been a widely discussed agenda in many of the international meetings throughout the world in the bilateral or multilateral talks. Emission from aviation currently account for 3.5 % of the total anthropogenic radiates which is anticipated to rise to as much as 15% by 2050, if no further organizational measures are taken to decrease these emissions. Delays caused by congestion in the air traffic at the various airports across the globe are one of the major sources of environmental pollution and also the unnecessary cost to airlines, passengers, and businesses dependent on aviation transportation. Aircraft due to this reason are frequently forced to fly at such a different cruise altitude and/or the cruise speed for which for which they are not designed. This results in unnecessary fuel burn and hence the related gaseous emission which rises environmental concerns both at the local and global levels. This article addresses the role of route optimization in the raised concerns of aircraft emissions and the fuel costs. It outlines the ways it can be addressed at various levels like route optimization at operational level, aircraft designing to suit a particular flying route at manufacturing level and at the level of air traffic management. The accuracy in the flight plan also forms a part of the route optimization programme.


The aviation sector in the recent years has witnessed an incredible increase in terms of its size and operations. It has been therefore striving hard to develop resources and means to have consistent, affordable, and environmentally-efficient supplies of energy sources together with an effective and efficient balanced approach to simultaneously address environmental impacts of aviation related to noise, air quality, and climate change in a manner which is reliable and cost-beneficial. However despite the recent instability and volatility being there in this sector, it is expected that this commercial aviation market would recover in no time and would experience a rapid and continued growth. Therefore, the associated impacts of aviation on environment are also set to become a major concern in the near future particularly absence of effective measures aimed at its mitigation. The principal concern in that also is going to be the issues regarding air qualityand climate change and its impact on human health and environment. In the event of the emissions from non-aviation sources decreasing at faster rate, the contribution from aviation sector in terms of emissions of air pollutants may relatively increase and become a major concern.[2]

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