Departments of the Institute

Air Transport Research

21 August 2009

The Air Transport Research investigates the possible future developments of air transport and analyses its capabilities and impacts. The main focus here is on the development of an environmental friendly air traffic system and air traffic economy.

Air Transport Development
Air traffic analyses and forecasts are an essential and indispensable part of strategic planning in transport politics, transport management, and for transport companies. Thus, air traffic analyses and forecasts serve appropriate administrations in air transport politics to plan air transport systems according to the demand. They also help related institutions like air traffic control and companies like airlines and airports to plan according to future traffic developments. A broad spectrum of tasks arises in the field of forecasts, depending on the temporal and spatial expansion of the traffic corridor, the geographical region of study, and the time horizon for forecasts. There is a long tradition of air transport forecasts for Germany the German air transport system within DLR. In addition to the comprehensive experience in developing forecasts, FW possesses extensive data banks for air transport developments, that may be unique with regard to German air traffic. With the superordinate position of DLR as a national research institution, FW has primarily developed forecasts for air traffic and airports in Germany. The clients are primarily the German federal and state transport ministries and airports. In recent years, additional forecasts were aquired with European and global focus; contractors include European institutions like the European Commission and international organisation like, for example, the ICAO. A specifically developed method allows for sequential and interlinked forecasts of transport supply and demand. This method can also meet the demands for examination of different "futures" in scenarios and the politically motivated.

In addition to the examination of the determining factors of the transport development, it is necessary to be able to analyze and evaluate the impacts of economic actions of airlines, airport managements, and air traffic control on the national economy. This is essential for the investigation of the impact of regulatory measures.

Air Transport Economics
Within DLR, an institution traditionally dominated by engineering science, FW is the only department conducting research on air traffic economics. Interdisciplinary collaboration within and outside of DLR proofs again and again that economic expertise is demanded in a large number of research questions with regard to air transport and airports. Research results in this area have been adopted by a great number of important institutions in air transport like, for example, ICAO-CAEP. The area of air traffic economics addresses countless economic questions in air transport; over the past years, its analyses focused on environmental, competition, and global economic issues. Close collaboration with appropriate DLR institutes allows for the investigation of the technologic potential of various air transport systems and the estimation of environmental impacts.

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