Environmental impact of Airport operations

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Environmental impact from airport operations and strategies to mitigate

The following environmental impact presents a more significant concern for airport managers:

Air and water pollution

Many of the urban areas that are densely populated are experiencing difficulties that are mostly associated with dangerous gaseous emissions, mainly from air pollution (Postorino et al., 2019). Air pollution is harmful as it affects people’s health and personal comfort and leads to the soil, water, vegetation, and wildlife damage. Air pollution has led to reduced visibility in the air, leading to an increase in transportation hazards. The corruption in the air also leads to the loss of aesthetic appeal in the atmosphere.

Air pollution mainly comes from foreign substances or compounds introduced in the air, mostly by the aircraft. The decay causes alterations in the concentration of naturally occurring elements. Large airports with many commercial jet aircraft have led to the problem of air pollution.

Various reasons at the airport have led to the occurrence of water pollution. The surface water run-off goes to the water sources (Levine et al., 2019). Anti-icing and de-icing fluids such as glycol, which get used during the winter months, can lead to the contamination of the car parks, aprons, and other land developments.  The chemicals that are used in washing and maintaining aircraft and vehicles can also contribute to water pollution. Fuel spillages and fire training activities can lead to the release of harmful chemicals to the water sources.

Underground tanks and pipes, when they leak, can lead to the contamination of water resources. Typical wastewater such as domestic sewerage from buildings and facilities pollutes the water when not adequately controlled.

 Strategies to mitigate

There is a need to monitor water quality as well as air quality. There should be control to avoid water pollution (Postorino et al., 2019). Such as preventing using harmful chemicals in the cleaning process and avoiding spillage and leakages on the pipes. The aircraft be modified to do away with releasing toxic gases in the air that causes air pollution.


Postorino, M. N., Mantecchini, L., & Paganelli, F. (2019). Improving taxi-out operations at city airports to reduce CO2 emissions. Transport Policy, 80, 167-176.

LeVine, M. J., Bernardo, J. E., Pfaender, H., Kirby, M., & Mavris, D. N. (2019). Demonstration of a Framework for Comparing Aviation Environmental Impact Mitigation Strategies. Journal of Aircraft, 56(3), 1116-1125.

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