Airport practitioners use the Emissions and Dispersion Modeling System (EDMS), soon to be incorporated into the Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT), for modeling local air quality. EDMS, the required regulatory emissions and dispersion model for U.S. airports, employs the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) AERMOD dispersion model, a Gaussian plume model (concentrations are typically 1-hour averages). AERMOD is typically used to model dispersion from point and area sources (e.g., power plants, industrial activities) and is used to assess local air quality impacts. In recent years, airports have been asked to address public health issues regarding airport activity, which could benefit from the use of high-fidelity, time-varying dispersion models such as CALPUFF, SCIPUFF/SCICHEM, and LASAT, which, in addition to their higher resolution, provide additional chemical transformation mechanisms and recirculation effects not included in AERMOD. However, there is no established process for modeling airport sources with these models, which has led to inconsistent practices.
Research is needed to provide guidance for airport practitioners in selecting and utilizing dispersion models to address local air quality health concerns.
The objective of this research is to provide guidance for airport practitioners in selecting and utilizing dispersion models to address local air quality health concerns. The guidance should provide, at a minimum:
1. A process to confirm whether dispersion modeling is appropriate for a particular study involving airport activity;
2. Suggestions for selecting the most appropriate dispersion model (e.g., AERMOD, CALPUFF, SCIPUFF/SCICHEM, LASAT) for a particular study based on model capabilities and limitations, data requirements unique to airports, pollutant(s) of concern, resource availability, and output requirements;
3. Airport case study examples of how dispersions models were used to address local air quality health concerns;
4. A list of airport activity data sources for model inputs; and
5. Method(s) for representing the spatial and temporal variance of airport emission sources (e.g., aircraft, GSE, stationary sources, landside vehicles) in dispersion models by operating mode.
The final deliverable is a report that includes:
- Dispersion modeling guidance for airport practitioners, including the dispersion model primer, airport case studies, list of airport activity data sources for model inputs, and method(s) for representing the spatial and temporal variance of airport emission sources;
- Technical appendices that document the entire research effort, including the results of the dispersion model inter-comparison and the research team’s recommendation of research needs and priorities for additional related research; and
- An executive summary.