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Title: Implications of climate change for the UK aviation sector
Author: Pejovic, Tamara
ISNI:       0000 0000 7219 6832
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2008
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With demand for air travel continuing to rise, its climate impacts are expected to increase dramatically and will be of continuing concern to decision makers. There is also a need to better understand the ways a changing climate may impact on air transport, both operationally and economically. This will influence safety, efficiency and future environmental impacts and is important in the development of mitigation policies. This thesis investigates a new angle, the implications of climate change for the UK aviation sector, with an aim to understand the impacts of changes in weather-related delays and severe weather events, using a case study of London’s Heathrow airport. Statistical analysis of delay and weather data was used to identify the key weather parameters associated with weather-related delays at Heathrow and their level of impact. Seven climate models were used to calculate forecast changes in weather parameters in 2050 for three emission scenarios. These changes were then used to derive an estimate of weather-related delay frequency and the level of impact in 2050. The vulnerabilities of UK air traffic operations to changes in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, associated with climate change, were identified and analysed using the example of a simulated short closure of Heathrow airport with associated cancellations and diversions. This thesis additionally explored how sector response to extreme weather events and changing climate conditions could influence the climate impact of air transport. Changes in CO2 emissions due to large system disruption are assessed. Possible changes in wind speed and direction were also examined, as these can affect flight times and trajectories, and so influence fuel use and hence CO2 emission.
Supervisor: Noland, Robert B. ; Toumi, Ralf Sponsor: EPSRC ; Universities UK for the Overseas Research Scheme (ORS)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral