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a clear view of the air

In collaboration with the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), the Environment Administration carried out a measurement campaign around the airport in 2018 – 2019 to determine the impact of airport activities on the region.

 

The purpose of this campaign was:

  • to assess the overall air quality around the airport
  • to assess the influence of airport activities on the air
  • to make an inventory of the air quality in the vicinity of the airport

 

The measurements carried out focused on dust (PM10, PM2.5 and ultrafine), nitrogen oxides and organic compounds. Ultrafine particles were particularly interesting, since a large number of scientific publications relate them to airport activities, even if limit values such as uniform measurement methods are still missing.

Thus, the evaluation of the results of this study is based on values deduced from similar studies. The measurement locations were chosen in the immediate vicinity of the airport to exclude, as far as possible, other sources, thus allowing a better appreciation of the significance of the airport‘s impact. In addition, metering locations were also chosen in the nearest residential areas, such as Findel, Cents and Sandweiler, in an attempt to quantify the impact of the airport and possible adverse effects in these areas.

For PM2.5, for example, the results show almost the same concentrations (i.e. approximately the same concentrations) that were observed during the same period at the Beidweiler station, serving as a rural background measurement. A particular influence of a source of emission is not directly observable. On the other hand, peak concentrations­ at the Luxembourg-Cents station are observed during December 2018 and January 2019. This phenomenon­ could be linked to the spreading of salt on roads in the Cents district during this period.

 

 

For nitrogen oxides, another interesting pollutant for quantifying the impact of airport activities on the region, the following concentrations are observed:

The graph above compares the average concentrations measured between June 2018 and May 2019 near the airport (in green) with the annual averages in 2019 of the NO² continuous measurement stations of the air quality monitoring network (in white). We can deduce that the concentrations around the airport are lower than the concentrations of stations assessing the impact of traffic. The concentrations observed correspond more to a peri-urban, even rural, situation.

In general, the results of the campaign led to the conclusion that the airport does not have a worrying impact on these surroundings. Its geographical location allows rapid dilution and distribution of the emissions produced by airport activities. Notwithstanding, this does not exclude an occasional and local negative impact following unfavorable weather conditions and wind directions, in particular by bad odors. For pollutants for which an hourly, daily or annual limit value is prescribed (NO2, SO2, PM10, PM2.5, Ar, Cd, Pb, B (a) P, C6H6), it was not possible to observe the values exceeding the hourly or daily limit values, or a trend towards potentially exceeding the annual limit values during the measurement period.

 

Sources:

> environnement.public.lu/fr/loft/air/mesures/campagnes-speciales/evaluation-air-aeroport.html

> environnement.public.lu/dam-assets/documents/air/Surveillance-evaluation-air/campagnes-mesure-speciale/aeroport/LIST-Abschlussbericht-Flughafen-Findel.pdf

 

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