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Market-based Impact Mitigation for the Environment

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Total project cost
€4 243 549
EU Contribution
€2 579 987
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues,
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Call for proposal
Link to CORDIS
Background & Policy context

Airlines and airports will likely face an increasing number of noise-impact constraints in future. There are already at least 128 airports worldwide with some type of noise surcharges, and the situation that the air-transport industry faces regarding noise-related environmental constraints on future growth is very grave. As has been shown in other industries, there are conditions under which a market- based mechanism using transferable permits can be used to provide improved control over environmental impacts and, at the same time, allow efficient business operations. MIME aimed at discovering whether, and how, such mechanisms can be used to improve environmental noise control in air transport.


MIME sought to determine the answers to several basic research questions:

  1. How can noise be translated into tradable permits?
  2. How would such a system be put into place?
  3. Can a market increase the number of viable options?
  4. How can air traffic management (ATM) contribute to enabling airlines to reach their noise goals?
  5. Could this add a fifth dimension to the International Civil Aviation Organisation's 'Balanced Approach'?
  6. What is the nature of an appropriate regulatory framework?

Successfully answering these questions in alignment with the evolution of Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) established a new and beneficial means of balancing environmental and operational concerns for European air transport. The project also addressed interdependencies between noise and emissions with the consideration that noise should not be optimised at the expense of emissions.

The MIME project aimed to produce the following results:

  • a system of transferable airline-based noise permits;
  • a method of implementation of noise permits and the means by which the chosen system would be equitably put into place at an airport;
  • requirements for tools for calculating airline noise permit use;
  • an analytic framework that would enable a single airline to understand the operation of this market and the value of such noise permits;
  • tools to enable airport situations to be judged as advantageous (or not) for such market-based approaches;
  • propositions for enabling uniform implementation of the chosen noise permit system at European airports;
  • the regulatory framework that would establish and govern this system.

The activities and the research methods which were employed in each Work Package are:

  1. WP1 – Project management and coordination, providing management of the overall project and coordination of the Work Packages, and reporting to the European Commission. This Work Package focuses on administrative, financial, schedule and coordination issues. To this end, the project coordinator (WP1 Manager) interacts with all the project partners, and serves as the principal intermediary between the European Commission and each of the partners.
  2. WP2 – Noise technology, addressing all aspects of noise metrics and measurements relevant to the envisioned system of trading and environmental control. This Work Package focuses on noise technology, describes the state of the art, and addresses the key issue of how to translate noise impact into noise permits.
  3. WP3 – Market mechanisms, addressing all aspects of design and evaluation of the envisioned system of tradable permits. This Work Package focuses on economic issues arising from the functioning of a noise tradable permit market. The validation strategy is defined in this Work Package. To this end, the WP3 manager interacts with other project partners in order to bring together the aspects linked with noise quantification, the economic background and viewpoint of the different market actors, and the needs in terms of combined ATM, noise and business case simulations.
  4. WP4 – Simulation and analysis, addressing the simulation and analysis of the envisioned mechanisms in their operation with the broader air-transport system. This Work Package focuses on simulation and analysis, and describes which simulation capabilities are required and how they will be used to perform a number of case studies addressing noise impact, permits and the permit-trading market.
  5. WP5 – Implementation framework, addressing the means of implementation of the envisioned system, including regulatory matters. This Work Package focuses on developing a workable implementation and regulatory framework, building on the outputs from WP2, 3 and 4.
  6. WP6 – Scientific coordination, ensures that coordination is maintained between Work Packages 2-5 and that input from the scientific community is sought and integrated into the project. Whereas WP1 deals with the management of the consortium and reporting to the commission, WP6 deals with managing the scientific content of the project within the Work Packages.
  7. WP7 &nd


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)


Candidate Market Methods
A market model must simulate the impacts of such potential trading schemes on abatement costs for airlines and finally on airline operations and their business models as well as customers and the society.  The market model focuses on economic issues arising from the functioning of a noise tradable permit market. It consists of a demand model, a permit trading model and an airline operations model which had to be newly developed for this project. A schedule builder tool is used to map changes in demand or operations onto the flight schedule of the simulated airport. The modelling of noise emissions from aircraft operations in a flight model and of the annoyance produced as well as the calculation of permits required are performed outside the market model. The outputs of the market model are determined by the requirements of a cost-benefit-analysis for different stake-holders.

Airport/ATM Simulation
The results of various sensitivity analyses have been used to inform and validate the modelling decisions made in designing the flight, noise and noise-impact modelling for MIME. Results demonstrate that the flight options chosen have a predictable and logical effect on the noise footprint calculated and that differences between plots can be explained by the expected behaviour of the aircraft flight model in PANEMA. Further, the MIME system reflects changes in annoyance due to traffic variations more or less accurately. Changes in flight time, variations of weight and even vertical profile seem to be reflected quite accurately, but only provided the route usage is not changed significantly. The MIME system is strongly dependent on the route and fleet used, and since it aims to influence fleet make-up, this is a probable weakness of the system. The results also highlight that a number of flight parameters have an effect on the noise generated by a flight. Airlines have direct control over only a few of these (aircraft type, departure procedure). There are other elements which in today’s operation are not under the airline’s control: typically ATC will decide routing into and out of the airport, as well as flight profile (whether a continuous climb or descent is possible). These elements over which the airline has no control also have a significant effect on the noise generated and noise-impact created. Hence there is a trade-off: in making the MIME metric fair (by isolating it from the effect of route), we constrain the MIME system significantly,


Lead Organisation
Boeing Research & Technology Center
Cañada Real de las Merinas 1-3, Edificio 4, 28042 MADRID, Spain
Organisation website
Partner Organisations
University Of Leeds
University Rd, Leeds, LS2 9JT, United Kingdom
Organisation website
EU Contribution
The European Organisation For The Safety And Air Navigation
Rue de la Fuse 96, BRUSSELS, Belgium
Organisation website
EU Contribution
Envisa Sas
Rue Oberkampf 22, 75011 Paris, France
Organisation website
EU Contribution
Cody Technology Park, Ively Rd,, FARNBOROUGH, GU14 0LX, United Kingdom
EU Contribution
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Arcisstrasse 21, 80333 MUENCHEN, Germany
Organisation website
EU Contribution
Stichting Centrum Voor De Ontwikkeling Van Transport En Logistiek In Europa
Van Nelleweg 1, 3044 BC Rotterdam, Netherlands
Organisation website
EU Contribution
Stiftelsen For Industriell Og Teknisk Forskning Ved Norges Tekniske Hoyskole
Organisation website
EU Contribution


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