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What are we doing? > The Airport

Over the years, Manchester Airport has developed its air quality monitoring and modelling capability to more fully understand the impact of Airport-related activities on local air quality, including the production of a comprehensive emissions inventory for the site and annual reporting of monitored air pollutants. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and ozone (O3) are measured continuously at the Airport/community boundary. The monitoring station is operated jointly with Manchester City Council, and in the case of NO2, as part of the national network. Regular meetings with Local Authority Environmental Health Officers permit a wider debate on the local air quality issues.

Monitoring emissions at Manchester AirportThe main Airport-related sources of emissions include:

  • Road traffic accessing the Airport site
  • Aircraft engine emissions during aircraft taxiing, taking off and landing, auxiliary power unit (APU) operation and engine testing
  • Fugitive emissions (e.g. evaporation) during fuelling of vehicles and aircraft
  • Exhaust emissions from operational vehicles and mobile plant on site
  • Power generation plant: diesel generators, boiler plant
  • Miscellaneous emissions from activities such as fire training.

Air quality is a complex subject with different sources producing different quantities of each pollutant. For example, the main source of NO2 is from aircraft operations and road traffic, whilst most particulates and SO2 arise from diesel vehicles and ground service equipment.

Additionally, only 10-30% of local road traffic is associated with the Airport and most on-site emissions are the result of third party operations and are therefore largely outside the direct control of the Airport Company.

Airport Emissions

Manchester Airport is committed to managing and controlling emissions of all pollutants arising from Airport operations and supports the work being undertaken by local authorities in Greater Manchester and East Cheshire. Further information on the Airport’s environmental policies and targets can be found in the Manchester Airport Environment Plan to 2030 along with annual progress reports.

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