LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Air pollution is well-recognized problem at major airports, but air pollution near smaller regional airports may be overlooked, U.S. researchers say.
Suzanne Paulson of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues said smaller regional airports are becoming an increasingly important component of global air transport systems.
The study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, suggests that officials should pay closer attention to these overlooked emissions, which could cause health problems for residents. Paulson and colleagues note that scientists have known for years that aircraft emissions from fuel burned during takeoffs and landings can have a serious impact on air quality near major airports.
The scientists measured a range of air pollutants near a general aviation airport for private planes and corporate jets in Southern California -- Santa Monica Airport -- in the spring and summer of last year.
The researchers found that emissions of ultrafine particles, which are less than 1/500th width of a human hair, were significantly elevated when compared to background pollution levels.