openair is an R package primarily developed for the analysis of air pollution measurement data but which is also of more general use in the atmospheric sciences. The package consists of many tools for importing and manipulating data, and undertaking a wide range of analyses to enhance understanding of air pollution data. In this paper we consider the development of the package with the purpose of showing how air pollution data can be analysed in more insightful ways. Examples are provided of importing data from UK air pollution networks, source identification and characterisation using bivariate polar plots, quantitative trend estimates and the use of functions for model evaluation purposes. We demonstrate how air pollution data can be analysed quickly and efficiently and in an interactive way, freeing time to consider the problem at hand. One of the central themes of openair is the use of conditioning plots and analyses, which greatly enhance inference possibilities. Finally, some consideration is given to future developments.