Investigation of Aviation Emissions Air Quality Impacts

Project Category: 
Emissions
Project Number: 
16

Today, aircraft emissions that impact air quality represent a relatively small contribution to overall regional emissions. With a projected 2-3 times growth in aviation transport sector over the next two decades, some aviation emissions are expected to increase. The National Vision for Aviation and Environment, which forms the basis for the environmental strategy of the Next Generation Air Transportation System, states that the significant environmental and health impacts of air quality caused by aviation emissions will be reduced in absolute terms notwithstanding the anticipated growth in aviation. In order to understand and evaluate the potential role of aviation emissions in air quality, the FAA has initiated this research project through PARTNER. The main science objective of this project is to quantify the potential incremental contribution of aviation emissions to air quality though their interaction with the background air. Towards this objective, we are developing and refining tools and analyses to model aviation emissions at multiple scales – from plume-scale (to model the exhaust of a single aircraft engine) to local-scale (in the vicinity of an airport to model multiple aircraft) to regional-scale (to model multiple airports over the continental United States) to study aviation impacts on air quality using state-of-the art modeling tools that incorporate one-atmosphere treatment for ozone, particulate matter and hazardous air pollutants. The research carried out under this project will exchange information with PARTNER projects on emissions and health impacts. The lessons learned under this project will help to develop methodology for air quality analysis to aid airport operators in preparing Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Statements in support of National Environmental Policy Act requirements, specifically using an integrated measurement and modeling approach. Additionally, this research project will help to consider potential tradeoffs amongst emissions, and to inform comprehensive policy analyses for aviation management that are being pursued under other PARTNER research projects.

Anticipated outcome

Improved understanding of aviation impact on air quality at multiple spatial and temporal scales.

Participating university

Center for Environmental Modeling for Policy Development, Institute for the Environment, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

Lead investigators

Sarav Arunachalam, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, sarav@email.unc.edu

FAA program manager

Christopher Sequeira, christopher.sequeira@faa.gov

Paper/Reports

  • Woody, M. C., West, J. J., Jathar, S. H., Robinson, A. L., and Arunachalam, S. (2014) Estimates of non-traditional secondary organic aerosols from aircraft SVOC and IVOC emissions using CMAQ, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 14, 30667-30703, doi:10.5194/acpd-14-30667-2014.
  • Woody, M., and S. Arunachalam (2013). Secondary organic aerosol produced from aircraft emissions at the Atlanta Airport: An advanced diagnostic investigation using process analysis, Atmospheric Environment 76:101-109
  • Rissman, J., Arunachalam, S., Woody, M., West, J. J., BenDor, T., and Binkowski, F. S, A plume-in-grid approach to characterize air quality impacts of aircraft emissions at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 1089-1132, doi:10.5194/acpd-13-1089-2013, 2013.
  • Levy, J. I., Woody, M., Baek, B. H., Shankar, U. and Arunachalam, S. (2011), Current and Future Particulate-Matter-Related Mortality Risks in the United States from Aviation Emissions During Landing and Takeoff. Risk Analysis. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2011.01660.x
  • Matthew Woody, Bok HaengBaek, Zachariah Adelman, Mohammed Omary, Yun Fat Lam, J. Jason West, Saravanan Arunachalam, An Assessment of Aviation's Contribution to Current and Future Fine Particulate Matter in the United States, Atmospheric Environment (2011), doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.03.041.
  • Arunachalam, S., Wang, B., Davis, N., Baek, B.H., Levy, J.I. Effect of Chemistry-Transport Model Scale and Resolution on Population Exposure to PM2.5 from Aircraft Emissions during Landing and Takeoff, Atmospheric Environment (2011), doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.03.029
  • Baek, B.H., S. Arunachalam, A. Holland, Z. Adelman, A. Hanna, T. Thrasher, and P. Soucacos (2007) Development of an Interface for the Emissions Dispersion and Modeling System (EDMS) with the SMOKE Modeling System. In Proceedings of the 16th Annual Emissions Inventory Conference - “Emissions Inventories: Integration, Analyses and Communication," Raleigh, NC, May 2007.
  • Arunachalam, S., B.H. Baek, A. Holland, Z. Adelman, F.S. Binkowski, A. Hanna, T. Thrasher and P. Soucacos (2008). An Improved Method to Represent Aviation Emissions in Air Quality Modeling Systems and their Impacts on Air Quality, In Proceedings of the 13th Conference on Aviation, Range and Aerospace Meteorology, New Orleans, LA, Jan 2008 http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/135626.pdf (pdf 336K)
  • Arunachalam, S. (2008). Multiscale Simulations and Analyses of Impacts of Aviation Emissions on Ambient Air Quality, Presented at the OMEGA International Conference on Airport Air Quality, Royal Aeronautical Society, London, October 2008 http://omega.mmu.ac.uk/Air-Quality-Conference/Sarav%20Arunachalam.pdf (pdf 1.4MB)
  • Arunachalam, S., B.H. Baek, F.S. Binkowski, B. Wang, Neil Davis, A. Hanna, and W. F. Hutzell (2008) A Modeling Study to Assess Air Quality Impacts of Air Toxics from Aircraft and other Sources at an Urban Airport – Case Study for Providence – T.F. Green, presented at the CRC Mobile Source Air Toxics Workshop, Dec 2008
  • Arunachalam, S., M. Woody, J. Rissman, F.S. Binkowski, H.-W. Wong, S. Jathar and A. Robinson (2012). An Enhanced Sub-grid Scale Approach to Characterize Air Quality Impacts of Aircraft Emissions, Air Pollution Modeling and its Application XXII, NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security 4, Springer, The Netherlands, 2012.
  • Arunachalam, S., M. Woody, BH Baek, U Shankar and JI Levy, (2011). An Investigation of the Impacts of Aviation Emissions on Future Air Quality and Health, D.G. Steyn and S.T. Castelli (eds.), Air Pollution Modeling and its Application XXI, NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security 4, DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-1359-8_108, Springer, The Netherlands, 2011.
  • Arunachalam, S., A. Valencia, D. Yang, N. Davis, BH Baek, R Dodson, EA Houseman and JI Levy, (2011). Comparing monitoring-based and modeling-based approaches for evaluating Black Carbon contributions from a U.S. airport. D.G. Steyn and S.T. Castelli (eds.), Air Pollution Modeling and its Application XXI, NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security 4, DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-1359-8_102, Springer, The Netherlands, 2011.
  • Arunachalam, S., B.H. Baek, H.-H. Hsu, B. Wang, N. Davis, and JI Levy (2010). The Influence of Chemistry Transport Model Scale and Resolution on Population Exposure due to Aircraft Emissions from Three Airports in the United States, Air Pollution Modeling and Its Application XX, D.G. Steyn; Rao, S. T. (Eds.) 2010, XLVII, 592 p., ISBN 978-90-481-3810-4, Springer, The Netherlands, 2010.
  • Arunachalam, S., M. Woody, K. Talgo, N. Davis and A. Xiu, 2013. Sensitivity of Meteorological Inputs to Assessing Incremental Impacts of Aviation Emissions on Regional Air Quality, Presented at the 1st CMAS South America Conference, Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 2013.
  • Bowden, J.H., S. Arunachalam, 2013. Cost-effective dynamical downscaling: An illustration of downscaling CESM with the WRF Model, Presented at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society, Austin, TX, Jan 6-10, 2013.
  • Arunachalam, S., B.H. Baek, P.L. Vennam, M. Woody, M. Omary, F.S. Binkowski and G. Fleming, 2012. Modeling Aircraft Emissions for Regional-scale Air Quality: Adapting a New Global Aircraft Emissions Database for the U.S., Presented at the Fall Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, Dec 3-7, 2012.
  • Woody, M., S. Arunachalam, F.S. Binkowski, J.J. West, S. Jathar, and A.L. Robinson, 2012. Simulating the Contributions from Aircraft Emissions to Organic Aerosols Using the Volatility Basis Set, Presented at the Fall Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, Dec 3-7, 2012.
  • Penn, S.L., S. Arunachalam, and J.I. Levy, 2012. The Effects of Airport Activity on Black Carbon Concentrations Near Runways at Los Angeles International Airport. Presented at the 22nd Annual Meeting of Exposure Science, Seattle, WA, October 28 - November 1, 2012.
  • Woody, M., S. Arunachalam, J.J. West, F.S. Binkowski, S. Jathar, and A. Robinson, 2012. Aircraft Emissions Contribution to Organic Aerosols using the Volatility Basis Set. Presented at the 11th Annual Models-3 CMAS Users Conference, Chapel Hill, NC, Oct 2012.
  • Vennam, L.P., W. Vizuete and S. Arunachalam (2011). An Assessment of Aviation-related Hazardous Air Pollutants from a U.S. airport using CMAQ, In Proceedings of the 10th Annual Models-3. CMAS Users Conference, Chapel Hill, NC, Oct 2011.
  • Woody, M., J. Rissman, F.S. Binkowski, J.J. West and S. Arunachalam (2011). An Enhanced Sub-grid Scale Approach to Characterize Air Quality Impacts of Aircraft Emissions at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. In Proceedings of the 10th Annual Models-3 CMAS Users Conference, Chapel Hill, NC, Oct 2011.
  • Davis, N., K. Talgo and S. Arunachalam (2010) Evaluation of EDMS / AERMOD at Los Angeles International Airport. In Proceedings of the 9th Annual Models-3 CMAS Users Conference, Chapel Hill, NC, Oct 2010.
  • Woody, M., S. Arunachalam, J. J. West, and U. Shankar (2010) A Comparison of CMAQ Predicted Contributions to PM2.5 from Aircraft Emissions to CMAQ Results Post-Processed Using the Speciated Modeled Attainment Test. In Proceedings of the 9th Annual Models-3 CMAS Users Conference, Chapel Hill, NC, Oct 2010.
  • Rissman, J., S. Arunachalam, and J.J. West (2010) Evaluating the Impact of the US Aviation Sector on Exceedances of the SO2, NO2, O3, and PM2.5 Primary Standards. In Proceedings of the 9th Annual Models-3 CMAS Users Conference, Chapel Hill, NC, Oct 2010.
  • Arunachalam S, Baek BH, Wang B, Davis N, Woody M, Levy JI (2009). PM2.5-related health risks from aircraft emissions – a case study of the influence of chemistry-transport model scale and resolution at three U.S. Airports. Presented at the Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting, Dec 6-9 2009, Baltimore, MD.
  • Davis, N., and S. Arunachalam (2009) A Hybrid CMAQ and AERMOD Approach to Investigate the Impact of Airports on Local Air Quality. In Proceedings of the 8th Annual Models-3/CMAS Users Conference, Chapel Hill, NC, Oct 2009.
  • Davis, N., S. Arunachalam and R. Brode (2008) MCIP2AERMOD: A new prototype tool for preparing meteorological inputs for AERMOD. In Proceedings of the 7th Annual Models-3/CMAS Users Conference, Chapel Hill, NC, Oct 2008.