Research Needs Associated with Particulate Emissions at Airports

Domestic airports and the aviation-industry partners that rely on these airports must assure compliance with current mass-based particulate matter (PM) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) as enforced by the U.S. EPA, existing state requirements and environmental implementation plans (SIPs), as well as potential future standards that will be more stringent. In February 2003, the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report (GAO-03-252) titled "Aviation and the Environment: Strategic Framework Needed to Address Challenges Posed by Aircraft Emissions." The executive recommendation from this report was that the Secretary, Department of Transportation, direct the FAA, in consultation with the EPA and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to develop a strategic framework for addressing emissions from aviation-related sources. In developing this framework, FAA was directed to coordinate with the airline industry, aircraft and engine manufacturers, airports, and the states with airports with non-attainment of air quality standards. This framework is evolving as the various components of the overall roadmap mature. A critical foundation to ensuring the success of the framework, however, rests on the identification of critical gaps in the existing research for particulates and established aviation-aligned initiatives. A comprehensive review of existing research findings and evaluation of current research efforts is, therefore, essential. Using this review and under the guidance of the FAA, the roadmap also defines a prerequisite for airport inventories in the imminent future, in which databases will be augmented with practical assessments of particulate source contributions in an airport environment. Within the aeronautical and environmental communities, gaps as to the understanding of quantitative aggregate and local contributions of particulate matter at airport sites is recognized. Specifically, the relative contributions of various sources for particulates including the ambient environment, aircraft gas turbine engine combustion processes, diesel combustion processes, and non-combustion releases of sources and precursors for particulate from other airport equipment and sources is not implicitly known. To this end, the industry is presently in need of comprehensive and managed information as it relates to particulate data at airport sites. This information will lead to improved emissions and particulate matter databases that provide a benchmark focus for future measurements, modeling efforts, and estimation of emissions. More importantly, this information is required to respond to pending compliance issues, prioritize future investment by the government and private sector, and ensure a sustainable air transportation system as an integral part of the global market. Given the numerous airports throughout the world and extent of aircraft that fly in and out of them, the need to support this initiative is wide reaching and the implications are significant. The objectives of this research are to (1) identify, review, and evaluate past and current research relating to particulate matter emissions at airports and (2) prepare a potential research agenda describing additional research needs in this area, focusing on issues of particular relevance to airport operators.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 02-04

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20591

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Gerencher, Christine

  • Performing Organizations:

    Environmental Consulting Group, LLC

    Annapolis, MD  USA 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Webb, Sandy

  • Start Date: 20070102
  • Actual Completion Date: 20080201
  • Source Data: RiP Project 11595

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01460632
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Airport Cooperative Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 02-04
  • Files: RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 1:29PM