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Chemical and Physical Properties and Source Apportionment of Airport Emissions in the context of European Air Quality Directives (CHEERS)
Start date: Aug 1, 2013, End date: Jul 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

While knowledge of anthropogenic sources of air pollution is increasing rapidly, there are major deficiencies in knowledge of the emissions of air pollutants from airports and their impacts upon air quality. Given the forecast future growth in the volume of air traffic, a significant increase of pollution levels generated by airports is probable. The main goals of the CHEERS project arise from the research needs associated with this source. The project focuses primarily upon (i) the determination of the impact of aircraft emissions upon particulate matter concentrations and size distributions used as an indicator of particle sources and formation mechanisms, and (ii) on the PM2.5 source apportionment to quantify the impact of aircraft, road traffic and other airport emissions upon local air quality.A field study will be carried out close to a runway at London Heathrow Airport which is recognised as a major source of air pollution and a location where EU air quality Limit Values are currently exceeded. Simultaneous deployment of fast-response instruments will allow a disaggregation of the contributions of different sources to PM, and analysis of particle size distributions will throw light on the atmospheric dispersion and processing of aircraft emissions.A concurrent PM2.5 sampling campaign will be carried out at two sites, one heavily impacted by aircraft emissions and the other representing the local background. Samples will be analysed chemically to give mass closure and to provide data on the concentrations of elemental, ionic and organic molecular marker constituents indicative of emission sources, allowing a molecular marker-based chemical mass balance study to quantify the contributions of the various sources of PM.Since air pollution problems associated with airports are common across the EU, this study will have implications far beyond the southern UK and will help in the design of air pollution mitigation strategies on both local and regional scales.
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