About Air Transportation Systems Lab
Air transportation is a vital enabler of growth in the economy and quality of life through empowering trade and tourism. At the same time, its large and still growing scale generates undesirable effects, such as air traffic delays and environmental impacts at the local, regional, and global level. Emerging from the Institute for Aviation and the Environment at the University of Cambridge, the Air Transportation Systems Laboratory at University College London (UCL) explores the interaction between air transportation, the economy, and the environment.
Our work is data-driven, using physical science, econometric, and operations research-based methods. The integrating mechanism is the Aviation Integrated Model (AIM), a unique tool, consisting of interlinked modules simulating current and future levels of global airport-to-airport demand, flight schedules, arrival delay, technology uptake, aircraft performance, local and global emissions, aircraft noise, and the related environmental costs and economic benefits under a wide range of policy conditions. Most recently, our work has focused on the local and global implications of airport capacity expansions.
We strive to make our research as transparent as possible and publish in leading international peer-reviewed journals. We also provide an open-source code of our Aviation Integrated Model. In addition to in-house research, we have been collaborating on research projects with univerisities in the UK (Cranfield University, Imperial College London, University of Cambridge, University of Southampton) and abroad (École Nationale de l’Aviation Civile, GeorgiaTech, ETH Zurich, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), along with US federally funded research centers (MIT Lincoln Laboratory and NASA Ames). Our primary funding has come from the UK Research Councils and the European Commission.
Prof Andreas W. Schäfer spoke to MIT Technology Review on the challenges of electrifying air transportation. Link to the published article: https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/08/17/1058013/electric-planes-taking-off-challenges/