London City Airport Consultative Committee

Air Quality

The arrangements made at London City Airport for the monitoring and control of Air Quality

 

 

 

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Background
Air Quality Strategy
Air Quality Action Plan
Air Quality - Quarterly Reports
Air Quality Measurement Programme - Annual Reports
Volatile Organic Compounds and Airport Odours
1997 Report of Air Quality
Annual Performance Report
More Information

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Background

INEVITABLY airports generate concerns about air quality and odours especially in an atmosphere when there is increasing worry about climate change and the impact which emissions might have on global warming. This is, therefore, a matter of ongoing concern to the Airport which already operates air quality monitoring equipment as part of an Air Quality Strategy adopted some time ago.

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Air Quality Strategy

THE Airport's approach to air quality is one involving full air quality assessment to ensure and demonstrate that any future growth at the Airport can be accomplished without producing unacceptable air quality impacts. The strategy is based on direct measurements and environmental monitoring rather than predictive modelling.

Air Quality monitoring equipment at City Aviation House

The Airport is confident this measurement strategy will allow them to monitor local background air quality, the effects of road traffic and surface access and provide information useful in investigating changes in aircraft types and dispersion patterns around the airport.

The strategy requires a three part monitoring programme. The measuring and collation process began in September 2006, following the installation of state of the art air quality monitoring equipment in the vicinity of the airport. The three-part monitoring programme comprises:

Long Term - A continuous urban air quality monitoring station for NO 2 and PM 10 . This was successfully installed in September 2006 on the roof of City Aviation House to allow for the assessment of background air quality.

Medium Term - A programme of NO 2 diffusion tube monitoring. This began in September 2006 and consists of an array of NO2 diffusion tubes located around the airport and nearby housing to examine the spatial distribution of NO 2 concentrations over the period of a year

Short Term – A high resolution NO 2 monitoring programme downwind of the runway thresholds began in August 2006 and is designed to examine the effects of individual aircraft types.

It is intended that the air quality monitoring programme will run in combination with the local authority monitoring programmes in the area. The continuous urban air quality monitoring station will complement the information collected by the London Borough of Newham and may even add to the body of knowledge about air quality in the London Thames Gateway. The spatial and short term monitoring work, in combination with the base station results, will allow the Airport to predict much better the effects of developments without the uncertainties in modelling assessment methods.

Emissions reduction strategy

The Airport operates a number of operational management initiatives to help reduce emissions attributable to ground operations at the airport including:

  • The extended use of electric vehicles,
  • Restricted use of Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) on aircraft and fixed or mobile Electrical Ground Power for all aircraft types,
  • Continued improvement of aircraft taxi procedures,
  • New fire training facilities (LPG fired not oil),
  • Continued development of the airport's Green Transport Plan.

Perhaps the biggest contributor to reducing the impact of emissions from road traffic to and from the airport was the opening in December 2005 of the Airport Extension of the Docklands Light Railway which includes a station at the Airport. By August 2006, after just 8 months of operation, the airport was witnessing a much higher proportion of passengers (42%) accessing the airport by rail, more than any other London Airport.

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Air Quality Action Plan

THE Airport undertook that by July 2010 it would draw up an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP). Once approved by the the local planning authority, the AQAP would then be implemented within six months.

The AQAP is defined as an action plan for the management and mitigation of any air quality impacts affecting the local community within the vicinity of the Airport due to the operation of the Airport (including vehicles going to or from the Airport) including:

  • Volatile Organic Compounds concentrations odours (known locally as “Airport smell”); and
  • fallout (known locally as “black smuts, deposits and oily films/patches on ponds”); and
  • ambient concentrations of fine particulates (PM10) and nitrogen oxides (NOr)

The action plan is to identify the principal sources of emissions. Where these exceed the the air quality objectives set out in the Air Quality (England) Regulations 2000 as amended by the Air Quality (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 the likely causes are to be identified. Especially where the air quality objectives are exceeded the AQAP is also to include those of the following Air Quality Action Plan Measures (AQAPM) which may be agreed with the local planning authority:

  • extending the facilities for fixed and electrical power;
  • limiting the use of ground power units to times when fixed and electrical power is not available or unfeasible;
  • setting maximum and optimum usage times for auxiliary power units based on operational requirements;
  • reviewing charging structures for fixed and electrical power to discourage further the use of auxiliary power units;
  • minimising idle and taxi times for aircraft prior to take­off;
  • setting maximum age of various categories of airside vehicles;
  • encouraging use of low emission or electric powered airside vehicles through charging structures;
  • introducing and enforcing regulations to prevent airside vehicles being left unattended with engines running;
  • introducing periodic emissions-checking of airside vehicles;
  • setting up a system to check that regular maintenance of airside vehicles is undertaken;
  • developing an energy management system to monitor and minimise energy use for heat and power generation;
  • investigating the potential for increased use of renewable energy sources at the Airport;
  • (where research identifies that emissions from idling taxis are a significant problem) investigating and introducing measures to reduce numbers of idling taxis on stand;
  • encouraging the use by staff of the most sustainable options for travel to and from the Airport;
  • ensuring a linkage between air quality and the Staff Travel Plan as well as the Passenger Travel Plan;
  • promoting the understanding of air quality issues among staff and passengers of the Airport through use of publicity documents and campaigns;
  • providing advice on the Airport Website to encourage passengers to travel by public transport to and from the Airport on days when poor air quality is measured or forecast.

In drawing up the AQAP the Airport is to demonstrate that it has considered all of these measures and if any are not included the reasons are to explained. In considering these measures the Airport will have regard to their feasibility, cost-effectiveness and proportionality and the safety implications.

In addition there will be an Air Quality Measurement  Programme (AQMP) to assess the potential air quality impacts of the Airport and to investigate anomalies with any other measurements taken by the Council in the vicinity of the Airport, The AQMP will include:

  1. the continued operation of the existing monitoring equipment;
  2. a network of at least 12 passive diffusion tube samplers for NO2 at locations in and around the Airport including Camel Road/Hartmann Road and Camel Road/Parker Street;
  3. a monitoring initiative to investigate the effects of individual aircraft types;
  4. a three month study to measure Volatile Organic Compounds concentrations and odours in and around
    the Site

The AQAP is to be reviewed every three years. The Review will propose any changes necessary to ensure the AQAP continues to address any significant air quality impacts arising from the Airport and that the arrangements still represent best practice in air quality monitoring and mitigation. Again, the Airport will demonstrate that it has considered all of the AQAPM measures and if any are not included the reasons will be explained. In considering these measures the Airport will have regard to their feasibility, cost-effectiveness and proportionality and the safety implications.

Until such time as the Air Quality Action Plan is completed, approved and implemented the Airport will:

  • seek to minimise the idle and taxi times for aircraft prior to take off
  • introduce and enforce regulations to prevent airside vehicles being left unattended with engines running.
  • set up a system to check that airside vehicles are regularly maintained;
  • encourage by staff to use the most sustainable options for travel to and from the Airport; and
  • ensuring a linkage between air quality and the Staff Travel Plan as well as the Passenger Travel Plan;.

The Air Quality Action Plan is presently being discussed with the Council.

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Air Quality - Quarterly Reports

Starting in July 2010 the Airport began to publish quarterly a summary of the results from its Air Quality Measurement Programme for the previous quarter. Copies of these reports are posted to this website. Here are the reports showing the results for:

Instead of a fourth quarter report (i.e. for the period October – December) of any year the results from that quarter are wrapped-up into the Annual Report - see the next section.

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Air Quality Measurement Programme - Annual Reports

Here are copies of the Annual Reports for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The findings of the AQMP for each year are summarised in the Executive Summary of the Report for that year.

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Volatile Organic Compounds and Airport Odours

The 2009 Section 106 Planning Agreement for London City Airport requires that a study be undertaken to measure concentrations of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and odours in and around the Airport site. The Report, which describes the outcome of this investigation, was published in July 2010.

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1997 Report on Air Quality

IN 1997 the Airport commissioned consultants to investigate concerns about air quality raised by a resident of Parker Street (adjoining the Airport). Click here for a copy of their report.

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Annual Performance Report

The Report for 2009 and its Appendices was posted to this website on 30th July 2010. Chatper 5 on page 18 deals with Air Quality.

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More Information

It is worth looking at the slides used in the presentation given by Air Quality Consultants to the the April 2010 meeting of the Consultative Committee.

 

 

An independent Consultative Committee established by London City Airport pursuant to Section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982
Chairman:
John Adshead     Secretary: Stuart Innes
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Page last modified: 1 November 2013