Air quality impact assessment for Edinburgh Airport

Air quality impact assessment for Edinburgh Airport

Air quality impact assessment for Edinburgh Airport


Ricardo was commissioned by Edinburgh Airport to provide support for the planning application of a new access road to link the main passenger terminal with the nearby motorway. Air quality impacts arising from the project needed to be carefully considered as the project will alter traffic on nearby busy roads and the site is close to two air quality management areas (AQMAs).

Initially, the Ricardo air quality team contributed to the scoping report, setting out our proposed methodology for assessment. We researched and reviewed the current baseline air quality in the area and considered the potential impacts of road traffic associated with the development. During this stage we consulted with the local Environmental Health team to ensure our proposed method of assessment met their expectations for the project. We have close links with local authorities through our work streams such as Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) and delivery of EMAQ training courses to local authority officers.  

Ricardo prepared the air quality assessment report, which was presented as the air quality chapter of the Environmental Statement using the client’s preferred format. The phases of the proposed road scheme were assessed, from construction to operation, using state-of-the-art modelling tools. The results from this dispersion modelling were used to assess the impact of the proposed road scheme on pollutant concentrations. Pollutant concentrations were modelled at locations where human exposure may occur close to existing and planned roads, where traffic flows will be affected by the proposed road scheme.  To provide a level of future-proofing, the modelling also included locations where residential properties could be built in the future.

The outcome of the air quality impact assessment determined where mitigation measures might be required, and our air quality modelling team liaised closely with the client to ensure the design of the project protected the health of those living and working in the local area.

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