Local aviation NOx

The LTO ( Landing and Take-Off) cycle figures quoted in EU and UK government sources refer to emissions emitted within a designated time frame and area up to 1000m height. They therefore seem the best indicator for noxious (or poisonous) emissions produced by aircraft that directly affect people living near the flightpath. Whilst CO2 has global implications, NOx seems likely to primarily affect the health of people in a more local area.

Table 3.4 page 22 of the European Environment agency 2019 guidebook list the Airbus A320 as emitting 11.28 kg NOx over the LTO cycle. [Download: https://www.eea.europa.eu/ds_resolveuid/SEB4A9UJYD%5D.

The UK government https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/726911/2018_methodology_paper_FINAL_v01-00.pdf lists the A320 as having an average seating capacity of 172 and an average occupancy of 74%. This works out to 88g/passenger NOx for the LTO of the airbus.

Assuming that only the A320 were to be used in the future (and that engine NOx emissions remained the same) would mean that by 2027 the airport’s aircraft would be polluting the local area with 352,000 kg of NOx each year. This would rise to 440,000 kg each year by 2037.

  • A Southampton University study has estimated that Southampton’s trees absorb 26,000 kg of NOx each year. That means that 7 times the number of trees are required just to counteract the current aviation NOx produced by the airport [182,000 kg in 2014 – Amec Foster Wilson see below ].

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