AeroSCOPE, the first open-source database to explore CO2 emissions from air transportation

Available online :

• As a PhD student at ISAE-SUPAERO, Antoine Salgas has produced a country-by-country and region-by-region snapshot of CO2 emissions from air transportation.
• This unique work will feed into AeroMAPS, an open-reference platform designed to explore scenarios for decarbonising air transport.

How much CO2 is emitted each year by air transportation between France and the United States? What about by aircraft departing from China? Or by type of aircraft?

The AeroMAPS team at ISAE-SUPAER (l. to r.): Scott Delbecq, Antoine Salgas, Thomas Planès and Félix Pollet.

A snapshot of CO2 emissions from air transportation, country-by-country and region-by-region, is the painstaking work undertaken by Antoine Salgas as part of his doctoral thesis at ISAE-SUPAERO. The result is AeroSCOPE, an interface based on an open-source database that covers all global emissions.

’This open-source tool has no equivalent,’ says the PhD student.

Attracted by the aeronautical sector, Antoine Salgas “became aware of environmental issues” during his studies in the Ingénieur programme at ISAE-SUPAERO, particularly through the Environmental Engineering Certificate, a module offered in third year as part of a partnership with Airbus. It was natural that he should take an interest in the work being done by Scott Delbecq and Thomas Planès at the Institute. AeroMAPS, the tool developed by these two researchers, aims to assess the environmental impact of the aviation sector and to make projections by adjusting the levers to decarbonise the sector.

AeroMAPS, a reference tool for modelling decarbonisation scenarios in the aviation sector

Scott Delbecq, a professor in aeronautical systems design, and Thomas Planès, a professor in sustainable aviation and aircraft design, initially created this open-source platform for researchers to explore transition scenarios. To simulate the future scenarios, AeroMAPS has progressively integrated numerous parameters such as different aircraft models, types of fuels and regulations.

This work is now part of the Institute for Sustainable Aviation, a multi-disciplinary research consortium founded by ISAE-SUPAERO to work on the sustainable future of the aviation sector and to offer scientific tools and methods to researchers, industrial actors, decision-makers, and the public without bias.

At the beginning of 2022, freshly graduated from ISAE-SUPAERO’s Ingénieur programme, Antoine Salgas joined the AeroMAPS team to study the economic cost of each transition scenario in the aviation sector.

“The different decarbonisation options do not have the same characteristics. For example, a more efficient aircraft is likely to be cheaper to operate; using more sustainable fuels will be more expensive than today,” he explains. “The first part of the PhD thesis I am working on, in partnership with Toulouse Business School, concerns the development of models to quantify this.”

A snapshot of 2019

Once the environmental and economic impact of each scenario had been modelled on a global scale, the AeroMAPS team turned its attention to the geographical partitioning of the tool.

’For an even more detailed analysis, we felt it was important to be able to propose scenarios on the scale of a world region, the EU for example, or a national scale. In the long term, we could even envision studying the decarbonisation of an airline,’ explains Antoine Salgas.

This gave rise to the AeroSCOPE project, which was completed during a three-month academic stay at the Dutch university of TU Delft, where the PhD student was hosted by researcher Junzi Sun.
To establish a database of CO2 emissions from air transportation, Antoine Salgas referred to a real year, 2019, for which he set about finding all the relevant data. He created a manual inventory of global air traffic, region by region, company by company, and aircraft type by aircraft type, before calculating the corresponding emissions.

To do this, “[he] first reviewed all available open data, such as that which exists in the United States and Europe. It was more difficult for other regions of the world, such as Asia.” To make up for the lack of data, a solution was found via the Wikipedia platform.

“We realised that it had a reliable framework, common to all the world’s airports, which enabled us to collect all the existing air routes.”

Antoine Salgas then used a machine learning approach to estimate the associated air traffic. From this work, he was able to generate a map – a country-by-country snapshot of CO2 emissions.

Screenshot of the AeroSCOPE tool
Screenshot of the AeroSCOPE tool

As well as being a database of interest to researchers, industry, and the public, AeroSCOPE also provides a projection basis for the AeroMAPS tool.

“Thanks to the combination of the two tools, we can refine the scenarios and be much more precise about the decarbonisation solutions we can propose for each region,” notes Antoine Salgas.

Linked to AeroMAPS, this tool is proving to be essential for exploring the possible futures of aviation, as a good example of the work of the Institute for Sustainable Aviation and in keeping with ISAE-SUPAERO’s commitment to mobilising its academic and scientific skills in the service of the transition to a sustainable society.

Find out more about AeroSCOPE on

Photo d'Antoine Salgas

“Like many young people of my generation, I want to be a driving force behind an ecological transition that is vital for the future. Having joined ISAE-SUPAERO’s Ingénieur programme in 2017 out of passion, it was natural for me to get involved in the aviation sector by joining the AeroMAPS development team. This tool enables us to take a step back from the various decarbonisation solutions proposed and evaluate them within prospective scenarios. My work provides an essential economic analysis, since many of the solutions envisioned generate additional costs. At the same time, I went to TU Delft to develop AeroSCOPE, a tool that enables us to regionalise our analyses as air transportation is characterised by very different uses and dynamics around the world. These are fascinating subjects, tackled by a dynamic team, which give a lot of meaning to my research."

Antoine Salgas, PhD student in ISAE-SUPAERO’s Department of Aerospace Vehicle Design and Control (DCAS)

Our news Research

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.
Choose an RSS feed
The entire RSS feed
RSS Feed by theme
Campus Academic programs Institute International Diversity program Research Companies Sustainable Development Innovation DEOS Alumni Doctorat DCAS Ingénieur DMSM Mastère Spécialisé DISC LACS Apprentissage Evénement DAEP