THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF AN AIRPORT: A FUTURE CAPACITY CONSTRAINT?

An airport, like any other industrial complex, will impact upon the environment at both a local and global level. The expansion of existing airports is limited by financial constraints, the physical and ecological constraints of the local environment and the acceptability of further disturbance to the surrounding communities. A number of major airports are reaching the limits of their current capacity and sites are being sought for entirely new 'green field' developments. While in the past, capacity limitations have tended to centre around the provision of adequate runway, terminal, apron, or service facilities, increasingly today in parts of Europe and North America, airport companies are discovering the concept of environmental capacity. In some cases, this has an ecological basis, future development being constrained by surrounding sites of biological significance, in some cases by pollution controls such as air quality (e.g. Arlanda Zurich) while in most it is a social restraint resulting from the unwillingness of local residents to tolerate further disturbance from aircraft noise (e.g. Munich, Dusseldorf). The aviation industry is in the midst of a period of rapid growth and all the indicators suggest that this will continue into the next century. The same factors which give rise to an increased demand for air travel also results in the general public having a greater expectation of quality of life. This leads to an increased sensitivity to disturbance and calls for stricter environmental legislation. This paper describes the different ways in which the development and operation of an airport impacts upon the environment and considers how this will affect the future growth of the aviation industry. (A) For the covering abstract see IRRD 865038.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 49-58

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00665311
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-86050-261-9
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Sep 9 1994 12:00AM