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I believe the smell by National is a result of glycol runoff. Depending on which type of glycol they're using (ethelene or propylene) it is either poisonous or just annoying. They use the stuff to de-ice planes -- in that canal you'll see there are little floats to contain the quite visible slick that the stuff causes. There might also be some jet fuel in there for good measure.

My guess was de-icer, also - it reminded me of getting on small commuter planes (stairs, no walkway) in the winter in Wisconsin.

On a related note, what the $!&* is the loud popping noise that I hear all the time when I ride by in the morning? I've never been able to locate it, or associate it with anything I see (while watching for traffic on the trail, of course).

This one I do know. It's some sorta of canon to scare off birds so that they don't get sucked into the jet engines.

Yes, the loud popping noises are to scare the birds away from the airport. I never get tired of watching people jump like they just heard a gun shot while riding, walking or running by.

I too was wondering what that funny odor is. It makes perfect sense that it's de-icer runoff.

The smell is ethanethiol, which is added to propane so that you can smell it. Look for the LP tanks and the propane canons across the canal. When the wind is right, the propane just blows out of the tube of the canon instead of exploding. Stinky.

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