Study of atmospheric fallout around two Walloon airports (Liège and Charleroi)

Click on the link below to access the first newsletter published in October 2023 


The presentations given at the citizens’ meetings are available here for Charleroi and here for Liège.


In December 2022, the Minister for the Environment, Céline Tellier, commissioned the ISSeP, in collaboration with the non-profit organization Eco-Impact, to set up a pilot project to monitor the potential impacts of atmospheric fallout generated by the activities of the two Walloon airports.

The project was named “Aéro-Sols”.

Environmental impact of airports

Airports have an impact on the environment, particularly through the production of atmospheric pollutants. During take-off and landing, aircraft emit pollutants which, depending on local conditions, can be more or less dispersed outside the airport perimeter. However, once a certain altitude has been reached, and under the effect of turbulence due to the aircraft, the pollutants are highly dispersed and their fallout can no longer be distinguished from the background noise of other sources of pollution (road traffic in particular). This is why the scope of the study is essentially concentrated on the flight path near the airport, and corresponds to the noise curves.

The aim of the Aéro-Sols study is to carry out independent and transparent measurements to determine the reality of fallout around Bierset and Charleroi airports. The many studies carried out elsewhere do not always agree on the impact of airports on the environment. Indeed, some studies show a very substantial effect, while others have found no greater impact than urban centers or freeways.

On the other hand, scientists are unanimous on the operations responsible for pollution and on the list of pollutants likely to be emitted.

Aim of the study

To measure the concentrations of 3 types of pollutants in atmospheric fallout around the 2 Walloon airports, in order to assess the impact of the Charleroi and Bierset airports on the environment.

Involve volunteer citizens in all stages of the selected experimental protocols, to guarantee the transparency of the process.


We use 2 sampling techniques :

  • Gauges with funnels to collect dust from atmospheric fallout. Sampling for 1 year, with samples collected every 28 days.
  • Active biomonitoring devices using grasses to capture pollutants in the air and dust. These plants will be exposed for 2 cycles of 6 weeks each (summer 2023 and autumn 2023).

Measuring stations will be set up in the gardens of participating local residents.

Measurements from stations close to airports will be compared with measurements obtained at reference points located in a similar environment but outside the presumed impact zone, as well as with reference values.

Substances studied

For this project, the substances studied are :

  • Heavy metals: Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH): 16 EPA
  • Hydrocarbons: C5-C11 and C10-C40 fractions

Conditions of participation

Living within the study perimeter. See maps below. Have a garden or yard:

  • Flat and accessible from the street;
  • At least 10m by 10m;
  • Not surrounded by high walls or buildings.

How can I volunteer?

If possible, by taking part in one of the citizens’ meetings organized on May 22, 2023 in Charleroi or May 23, 2023 in Liège. If you are unable to attend, you can click on the button below to volunteer to host a measuring station:

Registration Aerosols

Registration closes on May 31 for both airports.

The presentations given at the citizens’ meetings are available here for Charleroi et here for Liège.


Asbl Eco-Impact

Eco-Impact is a network of experts serving the environment and public health. Eager to make the link between health and the environment, Eco-Impact is developing a new, responsible approach to environmental surveillance and monitoring, thanks in particular to the contribution of bio-monitoring, i.e. the use of living indicators such as bees, mosses, lichens, cabbages and other earthworms to testify to the quality of the environment or its degradation.


For further information before, during or after the study, please contact us:

Sophie Crevecoeur and Caroline Thiry (ISSeP)
ISSeP – Cellule Environnement-Santé, 200 Rue du Chéra – 4000 Liège
Email :

Marie Cors (Eco-Impact)
MOBILE : 0497/11 83 35
Email :