Air emissions associated with operations at Boston Logan International Airport come from three primary sources:
Ground Service Equipment
Additional sources include fuel storage, heating and cooling; however aircraft are the largest single source of emissions at Logan.
Aircraft emit four principal air pollutants: carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, oxides of nitrogen and particulate matter. The
U.S. Clean Air Act, which was last amended in 1990, requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish air quality standards for outdoor (ambient) air to protect public health and the environment. Air quality at Boston Logan is governed by these standards as well as other federal and state regulations including the Massachusetts State Implementation Plan (SIP).
Massport is committed to the environment, particularly to reducing emissions generated by airport activity at Logan. View our
green initiatives for more information on what we are doing to reach this goal. Massachusetts and National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) Measuring Emissions
Air emissions at Boston Logan are measured using a computer modeling system. The
FAA’s Emissions and Dispersion Modeling System (EDMS) is used in accordance with FAA requirements for airport air quality analyses; it is also the U.S. EPA preferred model. The FAA continually improves the performance, precision and adaptability of the EDMS and the model is subject to regular updates and revisions. Alternative Fuel Making a Difference
Emissions from ground service equipment at Logan continue to decline. Estimates are based on EDMS emission factors and the reduction shows progress as a result of Massport’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle Program and the conversion of Massport and/or tenant ground service equipment and fleet vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG) or electricity.
Model input data are based on an on-site ground service equipment time-in-mode survey completed in 2004 and information obtained from the Logan Airport Vehicle Aerodrome Permit Application process regarding ground service equipment fuel use (e.g., gasoline, diesel, CNG, etc.).
Our vehicle emissions factor data are obtained from the most recent version of the EPA’s MOBILE model combined with the
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)’s recommended fleet mix data, operating conditions and other Massachusetts-specific input parameters. MOBILE is preferred by the DEP and used throughout Massachusetts to develop motor vehicle emissions budgets.
Emissions associated with Boston Logan fuel storage and handling facilities, the Central Heating and Cooling Plant, and other stationary sources at the airport are based on annual fuel output records and categorized by emission source and fuel type.
The appropriate emission factors obtained from the EPA TANKS model are used for evaporative fuel emissions. The EPA’s
Compilation of Air Pollution Emission Factors along with facility-specific data from operating permits are the basis of stationary source emission factors. Emissions at Boston Logan
Carbon Monoxide Emissions at Boston Logan International Airport
Modeled Levels of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions at Boston Logan International Airport
Modeled Levels of Annual Oxides of Nitrogen Emissions at Boston Logan International Airport Nitrogen Dioxide Monitoring
Between 1982 and early 2012, Massport collected NO2 concentration data at numerous locations both on the Airport and in neighboring residential communities. The purpose of this monitoring program was to track long-term trends in NO2 levels and to compare the results to the NAAQS for this pollutant. Massport determined that the Logan NO2 Monitoring Program had achieved its objectives with the significant and stable decrease in NO2 emissions since 1999. Massport discontinued the program in early 2012.
Nitrogen Dioxide Monitoring Results
Nitrogen Dioxide Monitoring Map Centerfield Taxiway Air Quality Monitoring Study
In 2008 Massport began a $1.6 million air quality monitoring study in and around Logan Airport in compliance with its
Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Section 61 findings for the centerfield taxiway component of the Logan Airside Improvements Project.
The intent of the study is to assess air quality changes related to the operation of the new centerfield taxiway by measuring air quality data in communities around Logan Airport both before and after the centerfield taxiway became operational, with an emphasis on ambient (i.e., outdoor) levels of particulate matter and hazardous air pollutants.
For more information, view
Massport’s Air Quality Monitoring Study Work Plan and the Logan Air Quality Monitoring Study Baseline Year Report. Nitrogen Dioxide Emissions by Airline
As part of the reporting process, the Air Quality Initiative calls for an itemization of nitrogen dioxide emissions generated by activities at Logan Airport according to the individual airline operator.
Contribution of Nitrogen Dioxide Air Emissions by Airline Emissions Reduction Strategies
Massport is committed to being a good neighbor and reducing the impact of airport operations on the environment. As such, we have implemented a number of emission reduction strategies at Boston Logan including the voluntary Air Quality Initiative (AQI) implemented in 2001 with the goal of maintaining levels of nitrogen dioxide emissions associated with the airport at or below the levels from 1999.
Nitrogen dioxide emissions at Boston Logan have decreased by 28% since 1999. Between 1999 and 2008, the greatest reductions of nitrogen dioxide emissions were associated with on-airport motor vehicles (62%), ground service equipment (42%), and aircraft (22%).
Air Quality Initiative
This 15-year program has four primary commitments:
Expand on existing initiatives at Logan. View the
Air Quality Initiative Inventory Tracking of Nitrogen Dioxide Emissions for information on programs in place at place at Logan Airport when the Air Quality Initiative was developed. Retire emissions credits giving priority to mobile sources in order to maintain nitrogen dioxide emissions at or below 1999 levels.
Massport updates the Logan Airport inventory of nitrogen dioxide emissions annually to reflect new information and changing conditions associated with the Airport’s operations. In 2008, it was not necessary to purchase and retire mobile source emission credits to maintain nitrogen dioxide emissions at or below 1999 levels. Based on current projections, no credits will need to be purchased through the AQI period of 2015.
Report the status and progress in Massport’s Environmental Data Report (EDR) and Environmental Status and Planning Report (ESPR).
Continue working to decrease air emissions from aviation sources at both a national and international level.
Massport is a member of and participates in a number of organizations which address aviation-related environmental issues, including air quality. These include serving on technical review committees for the
Transportation Research Board (TRB) and the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP), research projects and environmental committees of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), and Airports Council International (ACI). Working with Airline Partners
As part of our efforts to reduce emissions associated with aircraft taxiing, Massport did outreach to each of Logan’s airlines encouraging voluntary use of single engine taxiing, consistent with safety, pilot judgment, and federal law. Massport is coordinating with the
FAA Office of Environment and Energy and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to demonstrate possible surface traffic management strategies to reduce aircraft emissions and fuel burn on the airport surface. A critical part of this research involved input from Logan Airport pilots with regard to single engine taxi procedures. Centerfield Taxiway Study
As part of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Certificate on the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Logan Airside Improvements Project, the Secretary of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs mandated an air quality study to monitor air quality conditions in the vicinity of Logan International Airport in advance of, and following, the implementation the new Centerfield Taxiway. The study is conducted by Massport, in consultation with the Massachusetts Departments of Public Health (MADPH) and Environmental Protection (MADEP) and the City of Boston.
The study consists of two, one-year long monitoring events:
Baseline year (October 1, 2007-September 30, 2008, prior to the construction of the Centerfield Taxiway)
Post-construction year (September 1, 2011 through August 30, 2012, after normal operations began on the new taxiway, which was under construction between 2008 and 2010).
Eleven sites are monitored: three primary sites, seven satellite sites and one urban background site located at the MADEP Harrison Avenue site.
Target compounds for this study are specifically selected as they represent the primary forms of combustion products or evaporative emissions from airport related sources. They include: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), carbonyls (e.g., formaldehyde), Semi-volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs) / Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), particulate matter and black carbon.
Data Analysis and Reporting
Air monitoring was conducted over two separate one-year periods. Upon completion of the data quality review and data analyses, quarterly and summary reports are prepared covering each 12-month monitoring period.
Final Year 2, Phase II Air Quality Monitoring Study
Year 2, Fourth Quarter Monitoring Report
Year 2, Final Work Plan
Year 2, Quality Assurance Project Plan
Year 2, Third Quarter Monitoring Report
Year 2, Second Quarter Monitoring Report
Year 2, First Quarter Monitoring Report
Final Baseline Report
Year 1, Fourth Quarter Monitoring Report
Year 1, Third Quarter Monitoring Report
Year 1, Second Quarter Monitoring Report
Year 1, First Quarter Monitoring Report
Final Quality Assurance Project Plan, Passive Monitoring
Final Quality Assurance Project Plan, Active Monitoring
Final Air Quality Monitoring Study Work Plan
Air Quality FAQ
Air Quality Glossary