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Environmental costs in European aviation


  • Schipper, Youdi


This paper presents estimates of environmental costs in a set of 36 European airline markets. Cost are calculated for noise, air pollution and accident risk using data on aircraft emissions, exposure-response parameters and economic valuation of environmental goods. The 'medium value' cost estimate is 0.0201ECU per passenger-km. This result suggests that environmental costs represent only a small fraction (2.5%) of the internal cost of aviation as measured by the average ticket price. Noise costs are the dominant environmental cost at some 75% of the cost total. The medium estimates are sensitive to changes in the various assumptions in the pathways: a low and high estimate are three times lower and five times higher, respectively, than the medium estimate. The study further suggests that there are environmental economies of scale in air transport and that Chapter 2 aircraft are about a factor four more environmentally costly than Chapter 3 aircraft.

Suggested Citation

  • Schipper, Youdi, 2004. "Environmental costs in European aviation," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 141-154, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:11:y:2004:i:2:p:141-154

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    1. Wu, Chuntao & He, Xiaohe & Dou, Yi, 2019. "Regional disparity and driving forces of CO2 emissions: Evidence from China's domestic aviation transport sector," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 71-82.
    2. Demir, Emrah & Huang, Yuan & Scholts, Sebastiaan & Van Woensel, Tom, 2015. "A selected review on the negative externalities of the freight transportation: Modeling and pricing," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 95-114.
    3. Thierry Bréchet & Pierre M. Picard, 2010. "The Price Of Silence: Markets For Noise Licenses And Airports," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1097-1125, November.
    4. Adler, Nicole & Martini, Gianmaria & Volta, Nicola, 2013. "Measuring the environmental efficiency of the global aviation fleet," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 82-100.
    5. Lo, Pak Lam & Martini, Gianmaria & Porta, Flavio & Scotti, Davide, 2020. "The determinants of CO2 emissions of air transport passenger traffic: An analysis of Lombardy (Italy)," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 108-119.
    6. Defilippi, Enzo, 2019. "The environmental cost of Peru's domestic air transport: An appraisal," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 144-151.
    7. Vespermann, Jan & Wald, Andreas, 2011. "Much Ado about Nothing? – An analysis of economic impacts and ecologic effects of the EU-emission trading scheme in the aviation industry," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1066-1076.
    8. Grampella, Mattia & Martini, Gianmaria & Scotti, Davide & Zambon, Giovanni, 2016. "The factors affecting pollution and noise environmental costs of the current aircraft fleet: An econometric analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 310-325.
    9. Morrell, Peter, 2009. "The potential for European aviation CO2 emissions reduction through the use of larger jet aircraft," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 151-157.
    10. Grampella, Mattia & Lo, Pak Lam & Martini, Gianmaria & Scotti, Davide, 2017. "The impact of technology progress on aviation noise and emissions," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 525-540.
    11. Karen Mayor & Richard S. J. Tol, 2008. "Aviation and the Environment in the Context of the EU-US Open Skies Agreement," Papers WP240, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    12. Mayor, Karen & Tol, Richard S.J., 2009. "Aviation and the environment in the context of the EU–US Open Skies agreement," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 90-95.
    13. Cherie Lu, 2017. "Is There a Limit to Growth? Comparing the Environmental Cost of an Airport’s Operations with Its Economic Benefit," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(4), pages 1-13, November.
    14. Park, Yongha & O’Kelly, Morton E., 2014. "Fuel burn rates of commercial passenger aircraft: variations by seat configuration and stage distance," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 137-147.
    15. Park, Yongha & O'Kelly, Morton E., 2018. "Examination of cost-efficient aircraft fleets using empirical operation data in US aviation markets," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 224-234.
    16. Bert Wee & Piet Rietveld, 2013. "Using value of statistical life for the ex ante evaluation of transport policy options: a discussion based on ethical theory," Transportation, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 295-314, February.
    17. Chester, Mikhail & Horvath, Arpad, 2008. "Environmental Life-cycle Assessment of Passenger Transportation: A Detailed Methodology for Energy, Greenhouse Gas and Criteria Pollutant Inventories of Automobiles, Buses, Light Rail, Heavy Rail and ," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt5670921q, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.

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