Air Pollution

There is clear evidence that living near an airport can seriously damage your health.

Recent research has shown that exhaust emissions from commercial aircraft produce particles and gases that cause an increase in general inflammation but especially in the lungs.

Planes emit these particles when taking off and landing, and when taxiing or even when stationary on the airport apron.

More flights from LBA = more pollution = worse health for local people

Any increase in the number of flights from Leeds Bradford Airport will reduce air quality for communities near the airport.

This damage to health extends to those living within a 18km radius, depending on wind direction.

Given prevailing wind direction, it is north west Leeds that will experience the majority of aircraft-generated air pollution and associated health impacts.

Some of the most vulnerable members of society are most badly affected by air pollution caused by aviation.

Young children and older adults with conditions such as asthma and chronic pulmonary disease are especially at risk. Studies show that, for these groups, hospital admission rates get higher with increased proximity to commercial airports.

Even healthy non-smoking young adults show a reduction in lung function after just a single five hour exposure near a commercial airport perimeter.

"The number of ultrafine particles 500 metres downwind of Gatwick airport was greater than those at the kerb of London’s busiest roads"

Jet engine emissions are similar to diesel engine exhaust, though they produce more ultrafine particles which are particularly harmful to health.

It’s well known that jet engines produce carbon dioxide and water vapour, which contribute significantly to climate heating, especially at altitude. But they also produce a range of particles and vapours which reduce air quality at ground level. This, in turn, leads to significant harm to people who are exposed to this pollution.

Those with the highest levels of exposure are workers at the airports themselves, especially those working airside such as baggage handlers and ground support crews

People living near airports, especially downwind, and airport workers are are most likely to be affected by aircraft-generated air pollution.

Residents living in the near vicinity of commercial airports are particularly at risk of ill health due to poor air quality as a result of aircraft emissions.

Research studies have shown a five-fold increase in ultrafine particle concentration when measured at 3km downwind from a commercial airport, and a two-fold increase even at a distance of 18km downwind compared with control sites.

Particularly worrying for schools near or downwind from airports is the evidence that ultrafine particle concentrations have been measured as being similar inside residential buildings as outside.

Those with the highest levels of exposure are workers at the airports themselves, especially those working airside such as baggage handlers and ground support crews.

If you are interested in how jet engine emissions damage people’s health – please check out the link below.

More information on aviation and air pollution.

There is also a very informative article on the devastating consequences of air pollution on our health by David Wallace -Wells freely available.


Other issues

Leeds Bradford Airport is big enough already