chapter  21
Ground-Level Pollution, Invasive Species, and Emergent Diseases
BySteven A. Kolmes
Pages 14

This chapter presents several ways that commercial aviation has an environmental impact on ground level, whether from air pollution near airports, water pollution due to de-icing, spread of invasive species, or emergent diseases. These considerations deal with the local areas around airports, and also at times with much broader geographic areas where commercial aviation can have a discernible impact. Ground-level environmental impacts of commercial aviation are varied and can affect airport personnel, neighborhoods, and broader geographic regions. Regarding airports, one of the principal environmental concerns is the quality of runoff water, with the main challenge being pollution from aircraft and runway anti-icing and de-icing operations at northern facilities during the winter months. Many airports have become more congested over time, and that directly impacts local air pollution. Airport personnel can be exposed to a variety of pollutants, and among these the genotoxic effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been studied.