removing completely (?) air vent on steam riser

in by bathroom there is a steam riser pipe with an airvent. I don't really know why the airvent is there. possibly to allow for the steam to rise faster.
This vent very frequently gets bad (loud banging noises, like banging with a hammer), possibly because the pressure gets out of control in the steam riser pipe. Can i remove it completely and just place/screw a bolt at its place? It just seems that there is a hole drilled in the pipe and the vent was placed there.
Anything bad with that or is the air vent really needed?
TIA michael
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