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What We Do

The main areas of expertise


Area of Research

CATE was established to address the challenges of sustainable aviation development and the environmental capacity of the air transport system though research and knowledge transfer. CATE’s researchers work closely with refulatory bodies, which include the International Civil Aviation Organization, the European Commission, the UK Government and the US FAA;aviation sectors such as the airports, airlines and the manufacturers, academics, research laboratories and NGOs.

CATE’s research underpins policy formulation and supports technological development in helping the stakeholders minimise the environmental impacts of aviation to achieve long-term sustainable growth.


The main areas of expertise

Global Climate Change

The research investigates the impact of airplane emissions upon the climate. Led by Professor David Lee, this research group uses a range of modelling tools to calculate global aviation emissions and scenarios, contrail coverage and simplified climate response models of aviation-specific effects. With the evidence stemming from this research, the group provides advice and support on aviation related climate change issues for UK Government Departments and to fora such as the International Civil Aviation Organization and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.


Noise and community impacts

Led by Professor Callum Thomas, this research group addresses the environmental and community impacts of airports and airline operation within the vicinity of airports. Research programme focuses on issues of regulatory limits, measurement, management and impact of noise on local residents. Moreover, the research group focuses on the processes of stakeholder engagement and understanding community attitudes to airport growth. The UK Governmenents’s night flying policy was based on CATE’s research. Manchester Airport’s noise control programme and community relations programmes were developed with CATE researchers. More recently, CATE has been commissioned by the UK Government to produce a ‘good practice guide’ on the measurement and management or aircraft noise for Northern Ireland Airports.


Local Air Quality

This group focuses on the way airports and airlines deal with air quality issues. CATE provides expertise in air quality modelling and monitoring and provide advice on how emissions can be managed and reduced. The research group, led by Professor David Raper investigates the fundamental processes that control dispersion of pollutants around airports. This group examines the impact of wing tip induced vortices on dispersion of aircraft engine exhaust fumes and leads one of three Air Quality Planes for UK Department of Transport while contributing to another, to review the impact of aircraft emissions on air quality around Heathrow Airport.