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Air Quality Levels in the Vicinity of Three Major Greek Airports


Aviation is a basic necessity of our world, but its contribution to air pollution is considered significant. In this paper, the contribution of air traffic to air pollution levels in the area of the three larger airports of Greece is examined through the use of EDMS (Emission and Dispersion Modeling System), a regulatory model proposed by the US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency). To ensure a better understanding of air traffic contribution to air quality levels, the hourly aircraft movements along with the corresponding meteorological data for a whole year, 2009, were taken into account. During this year, air traffic peaked both in Greece as a total and in each of the three airports of this work. Airport emissions calculated by EDMS are found to be in good agreement with emissions monitored at Athens International Airport as well as with emission results and published data for International Zurich Airport. Concentration results have shown that PM10 and SO2 concentrations are well below the limit values, whereas NO2 concentrations exceeding limit value are expected in small areas under specific circumstances, when heavy air traffic coincides with meteorological conditions favoring air pollutant accumulation. Finally, the comparison of computational results with monitoring air quality data shows a good agreement, if other sources of air pollution are excluded.

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Correspondence to Alexandros G. Koulidis.

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• EDMS was applied to estimate air pollution levels in the area of 3 large airports.

• Emissions, especially for NOx, are in good agreement with previous results.

•A NOx emission rate of 4 to 5 kg per aircraft movement has been calculated.

• CO, PM10, and SO2 concentrations were found well under limit values.

• Higher concentrations of NO2 were found, but only under specific circumstances.

• In the nearby residential areas, local sources dominate in air pollution levels.

• Model results are generally in good agreement with monitoring data, if effects from other sources are excluded.

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Koulidis, A.G., Progiou, A.G. & Ziomas, I.C. Air Quality Levels in the Vicinity of Three Major Greek Airports. Environ Model Assess 25, 749–760 (2020).

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  • Greek airports
  • Emissions
  • Air pollution levels
  • EDMS
  • Computational approach
  • Exceedances