What is PFAS?

Per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are manufactured chemicals that have been used in a wide variety of substances and applications that include textiles and leather products, non-stick cookware, food and packaging, floor polishes, pesticides, water and stain repellents. They were also used in some firefighting foams.

Why is PFAS a Problem?

PFAS products resist physical, chemical and biological degradation, resulting in a persistent chemical that is very stable and therefore accumulates in the environment. Overtime, these chemicals migrate into surrounding soils, groundwater and surface water. PFAS contamination is not specific to Hobart Airport. It is an emerging national and international issue, that has been the subject of research by scientists, industry and regulators across the globe. PFAS was historically used at Hobart Airport for the purposes of aviation firefighting conducted by Airservices Australia (ASA). The use of PFAS was phased out at Hobart Airport in 2010.

How does PFAS affect Hobart Airport?

PFAS has been detected at Hobart Airport, due to historical purposes in regard to aviation firefighting and training activities. PFAS-free firefighting foam is now used, for operational responses only, with all training at Hobart Airport using water only.

How is Hobart Airport Managing PFAS?

Hobart Airport undertakes a collaborative approach to PFAS management, working with both State and Commonwealth regulators, and Airservices Australia.
Hobart Airport is aware of the PFAS impacted sites on airport land and manages sites in accordance with the guidance provided by the PFAS National Environmental Management Pan 2018 (NEMP). Hobart Airport conducts routine surface water and groundwater monitoring. We also liaise with Airservices Australia on projects and monitoring outcomes that relate to PFAS management and remediation, sharing data and new information, which assists use to better PFAS impacted areas at Hobart Airport.