King Khalid International Airport is the second largest airport in Saudi Arabia and welcomes every year an increasing number of travellers that transit via its facilities.
However, aircraft and all airport activities are sources of gas and particulate emissions. Nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide (CO) and fine suspended particles (PM) are the most important pollutants emitted by airport sources. In addition, at KKIA, dust storms are very frequent and cause Particulate Matter generation. PM2.5 and PM10, which are the two major pollutants created by this meteorological events, that are responsible for acute asthma among the citizens. These dust storms can also cause exacerbated engine deterioration. This is another axe of investigation which this pilot project is examining.
In order to tackle both health and environmental issues, the authorities ordered a study based on real time data, in order to first understand the sources and problems and then to take corrective measures.
Oizom set up 8 Polludrone stations to monitor the Air Quality at KKIA. These device monitor the following pollutants: PM1, PM2.5, PM10, NO, NO2, H2S, SO2, CO, CO2, O3. In addition, the stations also measure Noise, Temperature, Humidity and Wind speed and direction. These additional parameters can help to correlate events with pollutant measurements. The monitored values are available in real time on the Oizom Data Terminal accessible via a secure web client.
Based on the recorded emission data, Envisa provides KKIA with detailed monthly reports, which analyse the different pollutant levels, comparing them to regulated limits and historically averaged data in order to identify any potential anomalies or alerts. The evolution over time of all the different pollutants is as well being analysed in order to correlate them with possible exceptional air traffic conditions, wind, or meteorological events such as sandstorms.
In addition to the measured concentration levels delivered by the Polludrone stations, the airport air quality emissions are also calculated using a modelling approach. Using AEDT (the FAA’s Aviation Environmental Design Tool), calculations are made based on actual air traffic data.