NEWPORT BEACH — Planes flying out of John Wayne Airport emit potentially harmful particles, but at levels lower than federal clean-air standards, according to a study released Monday.
Commissioned by the city, the $60,000 study looked at air quality in six locations and identified certain emissions that come from aircraft.
City officials hoped the report would provide some evidence of the airport's impacts on Newport Beach residents. They are gearing up for negotiations over the airport's operations; an agreement will expire in 2015 that limits when planes can fly and how many can depart, among other controls.
"It seems things are within standards for now," Councilwoman Leslie Daigle said after the presentation to the Citizens Aviation Committee. "Our concern is that an airport expansion would exceed the standards."
The state and federal government set the limits for fine particulate matter, the most harmful type of matter to human health, at 35 micrograms per cubic meter. The study found that the highest concentration was at 20 micrograms, and that was to the north of the airport — downwind of the runway and next to the San Diego (405) Freeway, which is also a source of these pollutants.