New air quality project launched by Heathrow Airport oversight board

Image above: Plane coming in to land at Heathrow Airport

“We don’t accept dirty water, why accept dirty air?”

“We don’t accept dirty water, why accept dirty air?” said Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in justification of his policy to extend the Ultra Law Emission Zone to Greater London.

He argues there are a number of deaths in our city which do not need to occur. They occur prematurely because of air pollution, mostly caused by road transport. But what contribution does air travel make to air pollution?

Aircraft ground operations and the landing and take-off cycle result in the emission of various gaseous and particulate pollutants which are known to affect human health, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Aviation emissions of Nitrogen Oxides have an impact on local air quality and on human health, both through emissions in and around airports, but also from emissions at altitude affecting background concentrations. Recent studies show ground level emissions at airports have a significant health impact around major airports.

According to The Council for the Independent Scrutiny of Heathrow Airport (CISHA):

‘Exposure to ozone may cause headaches, coughing, dry throat, shortness of breath, a heavy feeling in chest, and fluid in the lungs. Higher levels of exposure can lead to more severe symptoms.
Chronic exposure may lead to asthma.’

Impact of Heathrow Airport on air quality

Baroness Liz Sugg

CISHA, the oversight board paid for by Heathrow airport, is launching a new project to understand how local communities perceive air quality and what changes they would like to see in their local area. They are seeking views from residents who live around Heathrow airport.

The findings of the project, which will run throughout September, will lead to a set of recommendations on how the airport can make improvements to their work and funding on air quality.

Launching the project this week, the Chair of CISHA, Liz Sugg, explained that the project has been driven “by residents and other stakeholders raising concerns around air quality as one of their key concerns.”

Baroness Sugg said:

“As Chair of CISHA, I’ve had many conversations with residents about what it’s like living near one of the world’s busiest airports. One of the key issues that residents and other stakeholders have raised with us at CISHA forum meetings and elsewhere is their concerns around air quality.

“Our new community research project aims to understand the local communities’ views on air quality in the area, on how relevant information is communicated, and their opinions on Heathrow Airport’s actions to monitor and improve air quality. We will use the information gathered to make recommendations to the Airport for their future work and investments on air quality.”

How you can take part in the consultation

There are three ways in which the public can take part in the consultation:

The survey will be open throughout September.

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