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No. 5: Survey on the air pollution at the apron of Copenhagen Airport in relation to working environment

Ellermann, T., Massling, A., Løfstrøm, P, Winther, M., Nøjgaard, J. K. & Ketzel. M. 2011. Undersøgelse af luftforureningen på forpladsen i Københavns Lufthavn Kastrup i relation til arbejdsmiljø. Aarhus Universitet, DCE – Nationalt Center for Miljø og Energi. 148 s. – Teknisk rapport fra DCE – Nationalt Center for Miljø og Energi nr. 5. www2.dmu.dk/Pub/TR5.pdf


This report presents results from a survey on the air pollution at the apron[1] of Copenhagen Airport in relation to working environment. The survey has been carried out during the period 2009 to 2011 by DCE - Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, Aarhus University (DCE) for  Copenhagen Airports A/S.

The aim of the survey was to map the air pollution at the apron of the airport and to determine the sources of the air pollution. The study focuses on the working environment. Therefore, the emphasis is on determination of air pollution in those areas of the apron where staff is working.

The survey includes the air pollutants that are suspected to cause problems for the working environment at the apron. These are the following: Nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), the mass of particles with diameter below 2.5 µm (PM2. 5), particle number[2] and their size distribution, particulate elemental carbon (soot), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and selected volatile organic compounds (VOC).

The survey is based on a combination of measurements, compilation of an emission inventory and model calculations. The main elements are:

  • Measurement of nitrogen oxides and PM2, 5 at the apron close to Gate B4 (Station B4). Measurements of these compounds on the outskirts of Copenhagen Airport (Station East and West) are also included in the study. These measurements are performed by DCE for Copenhagen Airports A/S in connection with the air quality monitoring at Copenhagen Airport.
  • Measurements of particle number (6 – 700 nm in diameter)[3] and particle size at Gate B4 and at the two stations on the outskirts of the airport (Station East and West).
  • Measuring campaign with the measurement of the spatial distribution of air pollution at the apron.
  • Measuring campaign with the measurement of PAH, selected VOC, particulate organic carbon and elemental carbon (soot).
  • Measuring campaign with the measurement of sulphur dioxide at Gate B4.
  • Compilation of an emission inventory on the sources at the airport. The inventory includes emissions of nitrogen oxides, PM2.5, VOC, carbon monoxide (CO) and total fuel consumption (jet fuel, diesel, etc.).


[1]  Apron is the part of the airport where the airplanes are parked near the gates.

[2] In this report the expression “particle number” is used as a short expression for the concentration of the number of particles per volume (particles per cm3)

[3] Ultrafine particles (diameter below 100 nm) accounts typically for 75-95% of the particle number with diameter between 6 and 700 nm.