Airservices results of PFAS investigation at Ayers Rock Airport
Airservices Australia today released the results of its on-airport Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) into per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contamination at its leased sites on Ayers Rock (Yulara) Airport. The PSI is part of a national PFAS Management Program and was conducted by independent consultants GHD Pty Ltd.
The PSI detected PFAS inside the airport boundary, in close proximity to the leased sites where Airservices carried out its fire service activities prior to 2010, when it transitioned to a PFAS-free foam. The PSI detected PFAS in soil on airport but all soil results were below criteria, indicating soils are a low risk to human health and environmental receptors such as plants and animals.
The PSI did not include groundwater sampling but identified a low risk to groundwater. The report noted that groundwater is not extracted for any use near the site. Following the PSI, Airservices commissioned a groundwater sample on-airport to better characterise the site. A low level of PFAS was detected in groundwater on-airport. The groundwater report advised there is no groundwater risk to human health or environmental receptors such as plants and animals.
Airservices has shared all results with the airport operator; Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia (VITA), and the environmental regulator; the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA).
Airservices will continue to engage with Voyages and the NT EPA on PFAS management at the airport including further sampling work and monitoring.