More knowledge about ultrafine particles

Ultrafine particles enter the air during combustion. Sources of these particles include road traffic, households and industry, as well as natural occurrences like volcanoes and forest fires. Little is known worldwide about their health effects. The studies conducted already have not provided a clear answer, and the contribution of individual sources is also unclear.

75% of the ultra-fine dust comes from sources other than aviation at 5km away from the airport, such as through road traffic, industry and wood-burning stoves. The emissions from all sources must be mapped in order to create good policy. Therefore, broader research into ultrafine particles is desperately needed. Royal Schiphol Group wants to contribute to the knowledge about aviation's emissions of ultrafine particles.

Knowledge sharing

Large airports outside the Netherlands also have increased concentrations of ultra-fine particles. Due to the international nature of aviation, ultrafine particles are a global challenge that cannot be solved by the Netherlands alone. That’s why Schiphol cooperates with other airports in order to share knowledge and experiences. ACI Europe’s Air Quality Working Group, the Association of European Airports, published a report on ultrafine particles in 2018, for which Schiphol was also a contributor. That report discussed RIVM’s recent investigations and endorsed the need for further investigation. It briefly discussed measurements at other airports and the challenges in measuring ultra-fine particles. The UN body ICAO is also at work internationally on gaining knowledge and understanding of ultrafine particles through a CAEP Working Group (Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection).

What we plan to do