7.7.1 Chapter 13: Air Quality of the PEIR evaluates the likely environmental effects of the Project on air quality from emissions from aircraft, road traffic and other emission sources.
7.7.2 The existing air quality conditions were established using a variety of sources including monitoring undertaken by the consultant team and local authorities, background concentrations predicted by Defra and data provided by GAL on the operation of the airport.
7.7.3 Emissions from road traffic and airport activity have been calculated and input into an atmospheric dispersion model to calculate predicted concentrations of pollutants at sensitive receptors (both human and ecological). The resultant concentrations have been compared against air quality standards and predicted changes to assess the impact of the Project.
7.7.4 Site-specific monitoring of ambient concentrations of nitrogen dioxide using diffusion tubes with measurements taken on a monthly basis was undertaken to inform the assessment.
7.7.5 Both Crawley Borough Council and Reigate and Banstead Borough Council have declared Air Quality Management Areas in their administrative areas due to exceedances of the annual mean nitrogen dioxide air quality standard.
7.7.6 The Horley Air Quality Management Area was declared by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council in 2002 and encompasses an area of the south west quadrant of Horley near the airport. The Hazelwick Air Quality Management Area was declared by Crawley Borough Council in 2015 and encompasses the Hazelwick roundabout and areas along the adjoining roads; the A2011 Crawley Avenue, Hazelwick Avenue, the A2004 Northgate Avenue and Gatwick Road. The Hazelwick AQMA is currently in the process of being extended to include the Three Bridges area, forming a single extended Crawley AQMA. This will add an additional area onto the south eastern ‘arm’ of the current AQMA. Consultation has ended and the extension recommendation has been approved.
7.7.7 Monitoring data for the continuous monitoring sites indicate that annual mean nitrogen dioxide concentrations over the five year period from 2015 to 2019 have consistently been below the air quality standard (ie no exceedances of the standard detected).
7.7.8 Air quality mitigation measures are proposed to ensure best practice is followed for all on site activities during construction. Measures from best practice guidance would be implemented through the Code of Construction Practice. The measures would include the development and implementation of a Dust Management Plan with mitigation such as water spraying, covering of dusty materials and speed limits on site.
7.7.9 Low emission plant would be used during construction of the Project elements. GAL is committed to mobile construction equipment meeting zero or ultra-low emission standards by 2030.
7.7.10 There will be a Construction Traffic Management Plan to reduce construction traffic and minimise impacts on the highway network. Construction traffic routing will direct traffic through the M23 Junction 9 in order to avoid any routing through the M23 Junction 10 and Hazelwick AQMA. There will also be a Construction Workforce Travel Plan with measures encouraging more sustainable travel patterns.
7.7.11 Traffic during operation of the Project would be further mitigated through the Airport Surface Access Strategy and the Travel Plan for Gatwick Airport.
7.7.12 In relation to aircraft emissions on the airfield, the airport has provision for fixed electrical ground power on any new stands. In relation to other airport emissions, the airport is using airside electric vehicles. GAL is committed to all on-airport vehicles and ground support equipment meeting zero or ultra-low emission standards by 2030.
7.7.13 In terms of monitoring, GAL is currently carrying out continuous monitoring within the airport. It is anticipated that this monitoring will continue in the future.
7.7.14 With the implementation of appropriate mitigation, the effects of construction-related activities on dust soiling and human health are not anticipated to be significant. The mitigation measures are applicable throughout the construction works, which would continue beyond the initial construction phase in 2024-2029, through to 2038.
7.7.15 The results of the assessment model show that during all future year scenarios (2024, 2029 and 2032) and for the 2038 design year (aircraft emissions only), no significant effects for air quality are anticipated as a result of the Project. Predicted pollutant concentrations at all receptors in the two AQMAs would be below the air quality standard (ie no exceedances are predicted) and the Project would therefore not create exceedances of the air quality standard in these areas.
7.7.16 An ecological assessment of the change in nitrogen dioxide concentrations and change in nitrogen deposition as a result of the Project was undertaken for future year scenarios at sensitive ecological receptors. The change in nitrogen dioxide was assessed against the site’s capacity to adapt to change. No significant effects are anticipated at the ecological receptors due to the Project.
7.7.17 No significant cumulative effects to air quality have been identified in the assessment.