People who live and work around airports suffer more than mere annoyance from ascending and descending aircraft. Aircraft noise may significantly impact the mental and physical health of people. Since the 1970s, numerous studies have found aircraft noise linked to:
An Introduction to Airport-Related Air Pollution:
Airports and aircraft cause many types of air pollution at many different elevations and at considerable distances. Yet, aviation pollution is generally unregulated.
The area heavily contaminated by a two runway airport is approximately 12 miles around and 20 miles or more downwind. A single runway airport can contaminate an area about 6 miles around and 20 miles downwind.
Newer aircraft, even though emissions go relatively unseen, could be at least as bad at polluting as older aircraft because of the production of smaller particulate matter, with different combustion processes, different formulations in fuel, etc.
Thus, the number of people exposed to aviation pollutants and who are affected in an airport’s vicinity can be immense. Studies strongly suggest that aviation could be responsible for over half of the damage attributed to climate change caused by transportation (radiation effect). In comparison to ground transportation with its millions upon millions of vehicles, there are surprisingly few aircraft (34,444 US-civil, 5,778 US-commercial).
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Airports: Deadly Neighbors