WIT Press

Decision Making Analysis To Assess The Silent Aircraft Project


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WIT Press


R. Morimoto & C. Hope


There is increasing concern about aircraft noise as a result of the rising demand for air transport. This paper presents a simple decision making model that examines whether it is worth trying to develop a silent aircraft in order to solve the current aircraft noise problems. The model includes eight variables: benefits from noise abatement, reduced ground travel, and extra flights as well as development cost, extra capital cost, and extra casualty cost as the main cost variables. Operation and air pollution costs associated with the new silent aircraft could either increase or decrease depending on the technologies, therefore they can be costs or benefits. The model also considers a possibility that the development will not be successful, and the silent aircraft will never be brought into use. The model is designed to capture a first approximation of all aspects of the decision, and the findings give a broad picture of the current state of silent aircraft development. The model is simple, but probabilistic and comprehensive enough to make a first estimate of the business case of this long-term project with huge uncertainty. The predicted mean cumulative net present value of the decision to develop a silent aircraft is US$13 billion. The result shows that initially the huge development cost dominates, and benefits from noise reduction, extra flights, as well as better location of an airport would grow once silent aircraft are developed and introduced. According to the model, although a substantial amount of time - approximately 70 years in the mean case - would be needed until costs are recouped by noise reduction and other benefits, the project of developing a silent aircraft seems just to be worthwhile. Keywords: aircraft noise, CBA, net present value, uncertainty. 1 Introduction The UK Department for Transport's official forecasts predicted in 2000 that passenger volumes at UK airports are expected to increase at an average rate of


aircraft noise, CBA, net present value, uncertainty.