Ambient air quality assessment at the airports based on a meteorological perspective

Enes Birinci*, Muhammed Denizoğlu, Hüseyin Özdemir, Emrah Tuncay Özdemir, Ali Deniz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Natural mineral dust episodes elevate particle concentrations and eventually decrease air quality. Air pollutant emissions from aircraft, airport ground operations, and long-range dust transport are producing problems for the aviation sector. Dust transport from the Sahara Desert, one of the primary dust sources globally, significantly affects the eastern Mediterranean basin, including Türkiye. This study investigates the effect of long-range dust transport on particulate matter (PM) concentrations at Turkish airports. Three different approaches were used to analyse dust episodes in the study area. Firstly, routine reports of meteorological conditions at the airports were investigated. For this purpose, airport routine meteorological reports (Metar) and aviation-selected special weather report (Speci) codes, recorded at 11 airports from 2012 to 2021, were used to determine the dust episode days. Secondly, the hourly PM measurement dataset was analyzed from the closest air quality monitoring stations to the airports. Finally, regional atmospheric model results and backward-trajectory analysis were used to validate the dust episodes and determine the dust origin. Results showed that 163 dust episodes occurred during the study period, 17% from North Africa and 12% from the Mediterranean region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1542
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


The authors thank the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change of Türkiye for providing air quality data. A part of this work was presented orally at the International Atmospheric Sciences Symposium held in October 2022 (Birinci et al., 2022). Also, we thank the editor and reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.

FundersFunder number
Ministry of Environment


    • Airport
    • Ambient air quality
    • Metar and Speci codes
    • Particulate matter
    • Saharan dust


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