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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Introducing a More Powerful Environmental Tool for the Aviation Community

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT), developed by a Volpe-led team, is the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) premier software for quantifying the environmental impacts of aviation, from a single flight up to full-scale global assessments.

Volpe and FAA have released a new software version, AEDT Version 2b, which was developed in lockstep with Volpe’s team of modeling experts. AEDT 2b replaces five legacy air quality and noise analysis tools and incorporates their functionalities into a single model.


Watch this video to learn more about the benefits of AEDT.

AEDT dynamically models a flight, taking into account the aircraft weight and performance characteristics and weather conditions, and calculates the resulting noise, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and fuel burn. This capability allows users to analyze the trade-offs between noise, fuel burn, and emissions, and quantify the environmental impact of changes in a flight's trajectory or selection of equipment.

The new capabilities of AEDT 2b, which was released in May 2015, allow users to do the following:

  • Access all noise, emissions, and emissions dispersion metrics from legacy analysis tools.
  • Build and edit flight tracks.
  • Analyze emissions dispersion from curved flight tracks.
  • Analyze emissions from the startup and taxi flight phases for airplanes and helicopters.
  • Conduct airplane taxi delay and sequence modeling.
  • Analyze noise from taxiing helicopters.
  • Analyze emissions from auxiliary power units, ground support equipment, and a variety of other non-aircraft emissions sources.
  • Model multiple airports in a single study.
  • Create custom altitude controls for airplanes.
Map generated by AEDT 2b.
Generated by AEDT 2b, this map displays the paths of aircraft at a major U.S. airport and the resulting noise.

In concert with a suite of FAA tools that Volpe helps develop, AEDT can be used to evaluate potential health impacts from and the cost effectiveness of a wide range of policy issues, including stringencies and new standards.

AEDT 2b will be used by thousands of aviation stakeholders, and has already been used in numerous NextGen and International Civil Aviation Organization assessments that have multi-billion-dollar implications for the aviation industry.

As of July 29, the aviation community can take advantage of updates to the Environmental Protection Agency tools used within AEDT for processing emissions dispersion data. Licensed users can access the AEDT Feature Pack 1 through the AEDT downloads page.

Information about obtaining AEDT as well as documentation, FAA guidance, and user support is available on the AEDT website.

AEDT 2b. Team members pose with Volpe Director Robert Johns.
Volpe Director Robert Johns (at far left) recognizes AEDT team members after the successful launch of AEDT 2b. Team members include (from left to right)  Chris Roof, Clay Reherman, Jordan Cumper, Dave Senzig, Andrew Hansen, Erin Reed, Eric Boeker, Gina Solman, Gary Baker, Abygail Mangar, Mike Lau, Andrea Goldstein, Jonathan Koopmann, George Noel, and Gregg Fleming. Not pictured: Meghan Ahearn, Chris Cutler, Lauren Jackson, Andrew Malwitz, David Pace, Juliet Page, Amanda Rapoza, Joe Ruggiero, Lyle Tripp, Charles Tyndall, Roger Wayson, Jacob Wishart, and Alexis Zubrow.