French airports delay the fight against atmospheric NOx pollution from APUs
The yearly report for 2013 by the French Authority for Airport Nuisance Control (ACNUSA) points out the delay of French airports on controlling air pollution. The Authority suggests that French airports improve their air quality ot meet European standards. ACNUSA wants restriction of the use of Auxillary Power Units (APUs) that consume a lot of aviation fuel, and produce a lot of air pollution, while planes are on the ground, as well as being very noise. The Directorate General for Civil Aviation now has 6 months to inform the authorities about its decision on APUs. There are other means by which aircraft ventilation systems etc can be operated on the ground, other than by use of APUs – eg by fixed electrical ground power. Heathrow airport’s air quality strategy shows how attempts are being made to cut the amount of NOx produced by APUs and they say this cut the amount of NOx emitted by 35 tonnes between 2008 and 2010.
French airports delay the fight against atmospheric pollution
May 9th, 2014
The yearly report for 2013 by the French Authority for Airport Nuisance Control emphasizes the delay of French airports in the matter of the fight against atmospheric pollution. The Authority suggests that French airports should improve the level of their facilities to meet European standards, according to an article by Actu-Environnement.In its annual report, the French Authority for Airport Nuisance Control (ACNUSA) asks the Directorate General for Civil Aviation to study the conditions for the replacement of auxiliary power units by other means. An auxiliary power unit (APU) is an aeroplane engine which allows the ventilation of avionics and ensures electricity supplies, as well as heating and cooling when needed. However, an APU that consumes kerosine is not only highly polluting, but also extremely noisy. Therefore the ACNUSA recommends the restriction of their use.
The Directorate General for Civil Aviation now has 6 months to inform the authorities about its final decision concerning the use of APUs. The restriction of APUs would also reduce noise pollution. It would benefit not only local residents, but the staff working on the platforms as well.
The authority also mentions in its report that although they have already made several recommendations about the restriction of night flights, for example introducing a rest period on Saturdays and Sundays between 11 pm and 6 am, in order to improve the situation for local residents, no change has taken place in this respect and their recommendations have not been followed by some French airports. The ACNUSA also reminded that the year 2013 was very rich in events in terms of atmospheric pollution. For instance, the European Year of Air Quality took place, the new European strategy for air quality was launched, and air pollution was classified as carcinogenic.
France is very late
Pending the outcome of the group ad hoc , ACNUSA recommended already to reduce air pollution from APU, by substituting other power ground planes means. The measure is part of a broader SINCE European movement “in 2010, of the 30 busiest airports in terms of passengers and within the European Union, 22 of them involve a restriction or limitation on the time Use of APU ” . Constraints limiting the use of APU on airport platforms vary the possibility of using alternative equipment such as supply means electricity or fixed units pre-air conditioning (CAC)And criteria outside temperature.
The various examples presented in the report “shows that it is quite possible to regulate the use of the APU having only alternative means of electricity” , says ACNUSA, especially, “he must be emphasized, [that] the development of alternative means can improve air quality and reduce noise not only for the benefit of local residents but also for the benefit of people using the platform, the first chief of staff working on the platform ” .
And France? “Of the 12 platforms acnusées, 8 of them have published a limited time to use the APU” .However, in the Ile-de-France, the entry into force the Order of 27 July 2012 regulating the use of APU during the stopover on the Roissy Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Le Bourgetunsatisfactory. “After a six-month moratorium on its application, the year 2013 has been dedicated to the establishment of a monitoring procedure of this order because of its complexity” , notes ACNUSA, pointing that ultimately “the scope of the Decree of 27 July 2012 is very limited” .
Heathrow airport say, in their Air Quality Strategy 2011 – 2020
In 2010, we calculated emissions [NOx] fell by approximately 80 tonnes compared with 2008/09 which indicates two of our key policies are working well:
1. More aircraft with lower NOX emissions are using the airport, partly in a response
to our landing charges. Ground emissions from aircraft main engines fell by
approximately 45 tonnes
2. Limit the use of auxiliary power unit (APU) use on the airport and assess how long
they run for. This data indicates APU emissions fell by approximately 35 tonnes,
based on manual surveys.
Since 2002, APU emissions [NOx] were cut by approximately 40 tonnes, helping to bring about a total fall from all ground-level aircraft activities of 24 tonnes even though there were 3,500 more aircraft movements in 2008/09. Total ground level aircraft emissions were approximately 1,637 tonnes
APU (auxiliary power unit) restrictions – we have seen a drop in APU use over recent years, as well as increasing compliance with the relevant OSI. The increased availability of FEGP (fixed electrical ground power) is the main way of reducing APU use and we will continue to assess the additional positive impact of using PCA.