Welcome to the MIT Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment

One of the defining challenges for the aerospace industry of the 21st century is understanding and reducing aviations’s environmental impacts.


With air travel demand forecast to double or triple by mid-century, meeting this challenge will require major advances in aerospace vehicle and information technology, changes to the design of our air transportation system, development of alternative aviation fuels, and the reshaping of our regulatory and policy frameworks.


To achieve the right balance of options for mitigating aviation’s environmental impacts — be these options technological, operational, regulatory, or fuel-based — we need to both understand the current impacts of aviation on the environment, and have the capability to estimate the effects of possible changes we make as the air transportation system evolves.


At the MIT Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment we are addressing both problems. We are working to increase our fundamental understanding of the environmental impacts of aircraft and fuels on a lifecycle basis, and to develop tools that policy-makers, researchers and designers use to assess the environmental and economic implications of aviation policy and engineering decisions.