A Comprehensive Survey on Climate Optimal Aircraft Trajectory Planning

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The strong growth rate of the aviation industry in recent years has created significant challenges in terms of environmental impact. Air traffic contributes to climate change through the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other non-CO2 effects, and the associated climate impact is expected to soar further. The mitigation of CO2 contributions to the net climate impact can be achieved using novel propulsion, jet fuels, and continuous improvements of aircraft efficiency, whose solutions lack in immediacy. On the other hand, the climate impact associated with non-CO2 emissions, being responsible for two-thirds of aviation radiative forcing, varies highly with geographic location, altitude, and time of the emission. Consequently, these effects can be reduced by planning proper climate-aware trajectories. To investigate these possibilities, this paper presents a survey on operational strategies proposed in the literature to mitigate aviation’s climate impact. These approaches are classified based on their methodology, climate metrics, reliability, and applicability. Drawing upon this analysis, future lines of research on this topic are delineated.