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Environmental Capacity and Sustainability of European Regional Airports: A Case Study

Authors: Nicola Gualandi, Luca Mantecchini, Davide Serrau


Airport capacity has always been perceived in the traditional sense as the number of aircraft operations during a specified time corresponding to a tolerable level of average delay and it mostly depends on the airside characteristics, on the fleet mix variability and on the ATM. The adoption of the Directive 2002/30/EC in the EU countries drives the stakeholders to conceive airport capacity in a different way though. Airport capacity in this sense is fundamentally driven by environmental criteria, and since acoustical externalities represent the most important factors, those are the ones that could pose a serious threat to the growth of airports and to aviation market itself in the short-medium term. The importance of the regional airports in the deregulated market grew fast during the last decade since they represent spokes for network carriers and a preferential destination for low-fares carriers. Not only regional airports have witnessed a fast and unexpected growth in traffic but also a fast growth in the complaints for the nuisance by the people living near those airports. In this paper the results of a study conducted in cooperation with the airport of Bologna G. Marconi are presented in order to investigate airport acoustical capacity as a defacto constraint of airport growth.

Keywords: Airport acoustical capacity, airport noise, air traffic noise, sustainability of regional airports

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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