Greenhouse gas emissions trends and drivers insights from the domestic aviation in Thailand.

Publication date: Jan 30, 2024

Domestic aviation is a swiftly expanding contributor to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Presently, economic volatility and the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis have resulted in the decline of domestic aviation, but domestic aviation is rapidly recovering in many countries. However, from a GHG emissions viewpoint, the domestic aviation sector is largely unenforced even though the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) provision for international aviation is currently in place. Accordingly, the knowledge base on emissions and their drivers from domestic aviation is weak, especially in developing countries, thus hindering an evidence-based policy debate. In this context, we have estimated and analyzed the pre-COVID-19 GHG emissions and their trends from commercial domestic aviation in Thailand; and provided insights on the role of key drivers that influence GHG emissions that are expected to be useful not only for Thailand but also for other developing countries. Emissions are estimated following Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Tier-II. Specifically, activity-based landing/take-off (LTO) cycle and cruise. This is compared to the Tier-I method, and key drivers were analyzed using an index decomposition method. The total annual average GHG emissions for all LTO cycles and cruises of commercial domestic aviation for 2015-2020 was 2254 Th. tonnes of CO-eq. During the LTO cycle of the aircraft, GHG emissions were at an average of 983 Th. tonnes of CO-eq. Additionally, during the cruise stage, emissions averaged 1270 Th. tonnes of CO-eq. The choice of accounting methods (i. e., IPCC Tier II vs. Tier I) seems to have had only nominal implications. Our analysis showed that, in the 2008-2020 period, the aviation activity effect and economic growth were the key decisive factors in this sector’s GHG emissions growth. It was followed by the fuel energy intensity levels and the population effect in descending order of impact. These findings have significant ramifications for present and future policies aimed at decreasing GHG emissions, aiding Thailand in achieving its climate targets by 2050, and enhancing energy efficiency as the domestic aviation market adapts.

Concepts Keywords
Aviation Aviation sector
Coronavirus Decomposition analysis
Thailand Energy consumption
Volatility Greenhouse gas emissions


Type Source Name
pathway KEGG Coronavirus disease
disease MESH COVID-19
disease VO organization
drug DRUGBANK Activated charcoal
disease VO population
disease VO efficiency

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