Assessing the impact of airport operations on some aspects of the environment of the Kotoka International Airport, Ghana

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Globally, airports implement environmental management policy programmes to satisfy regulatory requirements in line with international standards and recommended practices. This study assessed the impact of aircraft operations on the immediate/ surrounding environment of theKotoka International Airport (KIA), Accra, Ghana, with regards to particulate matter (PM10) concentration, noise levels and surface water contamination at three sampling sites (New Fire Station, Spintex Road and Runway 21 Take-off) using a mini vol potable air sampler, castle sonus (GA116) range of pocket sound level meter, H1 991300 water proof of pH/EC/TDS/Temperature meter and H1-83200-02 multi parameter photometer.All the sampled sites recorded high PM10 values, recording dust values above the World Health Organisation(WHO) and the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency (GEPA)air quality threshold limits of 50 μg/m³ and 70 μg/m³ respectively, with mean values ranging from 89.9 μg/m³ to91.1 μg/m3 respectively. TheGhana EPA permissible limits of 70 dB were not exceeded in any of the monitored sites. The highest noise level of 62.7dB was recorded at the New Fire Station site. pH, conductivity and hydrocarbons recorded at the study sites were generally within the Ghana EPA permissible levels. It is recommended that the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) as the regulator,should be empowered by legislation to ensure protection of the environment in relation to the aviation industry.The EPA should continue to act as the enforcement body in the case of environmental impact assessment of airport constructions and expansions. This will enable the two bodies limit possible future increases in emissions at our airports.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science in Environmental Science, September-2011