by Mary Ellen Eagan
At long last, a report from the 2010 Annual TRB Conference. My focus is on the workshop, committee meetings, and sessions that were sponsored or co-sponsored by the Committee on the Environmental Impacts of Aviation (AV030). Here’s my three days at TRB, in chronological order:
Sunday’s Workshop The Costs of Cleaner: Aviation’s Emissions Inventories and Economic Consequences of Their Reduction included three presentations with very different lenses on the climate change issue:
- Catherine Colwell and Matt Rosenberg from the Government Accountability Office provided an overview of GAO’s Report Aviation and Climate Change: Aircraft Emissions Expected to Grow, but Technological and Operational Improvements and Government Policies can Help Control Emissions;
- Richard Hancox of MVA Consultancy described the Airport Portfolio Management Tool, a critical component of the FAA’s Aviation Environmental Tools Suite. The goal of APMT is to forecast future air transport activity (operations, fleet and costs), by considering: demand for air transport; aviation industry cost evolution; aircraft availability and the trade-offs made between characteristics and operating costs; the impact of environmental policy measures; and impacts of changing costs on fares, demand and supply. His presentation focused on specific analysis conducted for ICAO’s Group on International Aviation and Climate Change (GIACC).
- Rich Altman provided an update on activities of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, with particular focus on it deployment goal: 10 airport facilities by 2013.
The Committee on Environmental Impacts of Aviation (AV030) held its meeting Monday morning (yours truly presiding – please let me know if you’re interested in joining our mailing list). In addition to discussion of committee business, there were two student paper presentations: Analysis and Control of Airport Departure Processes to Mitigate Congestion Impacts by Ioannis Simaiakis of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Lung Deposition of Jet Engine Exhaust Particulate Matter by Elizabeth A. Black of Missouri University of Science and Technology. The Sustainability Subcommittee also met on Monday, and included a third paper presentation, Mitigating Aviation Carbon Dioxide Emissions: An Analysis for Europe by Lynnette Dray of the University of Cambridge. The Noise Subcommittee meeting (a joint subcommittee with the Committee on Transportation Noise, ADC40) included presentations by Raquel Girvin on Noise Effects Characterization and Mitigation Research and Lynn Engelman on the DOD Aviation Noise Program. We also announced the formation of a new Water Resources Subcommittee, which will be ably led by Thomas Klin of CH2M Hill.
AV030 sponsored or co-sponsored three technical sessions:
- Climate Regulation and Impacts on Aviation and Airports – This session included an Overview of Climate Change Regulation and Aviation, presented by John Putnam of Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP; discussion of Climate Change Regulation and Impacts on Air Carriers by Nancy Young of the Air Transport Association of America, and Climate Change Regulation and Impacts on Airports by Jessica Steinhilber of Airports Council International – North America.
- Trends in Corporate Responsibility and Life-Cycle Analysis in the Aviation Industry – This session included presentation of corporate responsibility programs at two very different sectors in the aviation industry (manufacturing and consulting): Manufacturer’s Evolving Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility, given by Bruce Parry of Bombardier Aerospace, Canada; and Moving from CSR Reporting to Company-wide Sustainability Actions by Leo Roy of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. The session also included results of MIT’s research on Life-Cycle Analysis and Aviation Alternative Fuels Program by Jim Hileman of MIT; and A Look at ISO 26000 Standard for Sustainability Programs by Burr Stewart (formerly Port of Seattle).
- Environmental Planning for NextGen: Opportunities and Pitfalls of Implementing Area Navigation and Required Navigation Performance Flight Procedures at Noise-Sensitive Airports – This topical session was moderated by Kristi McKenney of the Port of Oakland, and included a range of perspectives on the challenges facing the FAA, airports, and operators to implement NextGen navigational procedures. Presentations were given by Lourdes Maurice (FAA) on Implications of Environmental Review, Planning and Analyses for the Next Generation Air Transportation System; Dick Marchi (ACI-NA), Environmental Planning for NextGen from an Airport Perspective; Burr Stewart on Implementing RNAV at Seattle Tacoma International Airport and Patty Clark (Port Authority of New York and New Jersey) Implementing RNAV at PA.
As you can probably infer from this recitation of meetings and papers, attending TRB’s annual meeting can be a bit like drinking from a fire hose. My advice to newcomers is pacing (those 9 pm sessions can really do you in), but I have always found the sessions to be informative and stimulating. And I usually find that something about one (or more) of the sessions finally sinks in sometime later. I’ll check back in then.