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Department for Transport - Aviation


DfT Civil Aviation

Department for Transport - Aviation

Background & policy context: 

Most aviation research of interest tothe Department is carried out by other organisations, often ininternational fora. There are few substantial aviation researchprojects commissioned exclusively by DfT. The Department has,however, commissioned a small number of research projects addressingissues of aircraft noise, health, emissions and climate change.

Strategic Objectives: 

The principal objectives are as follows:

  • To inform on Ministerial decisions; 
  • To guide the execution of policy; 
  • To address issues on which Ministers may need to take decisions in the future; 
  • To monitor the achievement of policy goals; and 
  • To improve information disseminated by the Government.
Programme organisation: 

Aircraft Exhaust Emissions -This sub-programme is identifying, characterising and assessing theimpact of aircraft emissions on global climate change and on localair quality. Pollutants from aircraft include CO2, NOx,particulates and water vapour in the form of contrails. It isconcerned with related issues such as how the emissions are formedand how to measure them. And with the development and assessment ofproposed measures to counter their adverse environmental impact.

Aircraft noise emissions - Thissub-programme is concerned with undertaking and improvingunderstanding of the perception of aircraft noise and with its impacton peoples lives eg sleep disturbance. It is also concerned with themethodology and measurement issues for assessing aircraft noise. Andwith assessing the effectiveness of existing or proposed measures tocounter the impact of aircraft noise.

Carbon and Climate Change - Thissubprogramme is concerned with identifying, characterising andassessing the carbon and climate change impacts from aviation. Forexample, specific work on fuel efficiency, emissions trading, globalemissions of CO2 and NOx, uncertainties associated with contrail andcirrus clouds from aviation and technical advice to support DfT andtechnical expertise to support working groups.

Health - Research on issuesaffecting passenger health during flight, including DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis).

Leading Institutions:

UK Government: Department for Transport

Type of funding:
Programme funding arrangements and funding conditions: 

Programme budget 2008-2009: £2 million (= €2.3 million)

Participating countries: 
United Kingdom
Total number of projects: 


Projects covered: 

Recent or current projects:

  • DfT Aviation Emissions Technical Advice and Research
  • DfT aviation environment and atmospheric expert and technical support
  • UK Aviation: Carbon Reduction Futures
  • Air Travel & Venous Thromboembolism
  • Attitudes to noise from aviation sources in England

Some examples of older projects are:

  • Consultation on the protection of regional air services to London
  • Night Flying Restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports
  • Consultation on Stansted Parliamentary Air Transport Movement Limit
  • The future of aviation - Consultation on air transport policy
  • Galileo - involving Europe in a new generation of satellite navigation services
  • A Public Private Partnership for NATS (National Air Traffic Services -
  • Giving aviation health policies a better focus
  • Denied boarding and cancellation or long delays of flights - consultation paper
  • Implementation of working time directive for mobile workers in civil aviation
  • Control of noise from civil aircraft
  • Changes to the economic regulation of airports
  • Changes to the Department's procedures for the allocation of scarce capacity
  • Safeguarding aerodromes, technical sites and military explosives storage areas
  • Lifting the Stansted passenger air traffic movement limitation.
Project Profiles:
  1. Air Travel & Venous Thromboembolism
  2. Extending CabinAir measurements to include older aircraft types utilised in high volume short haul operation
Contact Name: 
Contact Email: 
Department for Transport
Aviation Environmental Division Zone 1/33 Great Minster House 76 Marsham Str.
Contact country:
+44 020 7944 8300
Fax Number: 
+44 (0) 207 944 2189