As the world is getting more and more connected, the need for airports is also increasing; adding to our overall carbon footprint. While aviation technology hasn’t seen much improvement in terms of the amount of fossil fuels consumed by passenger planes, airports on the other hand definitely have a lot of scope for better power management.
In a country like India, which is still in its developing phase, there is lot of focus on increasing its manufacturing and production capabilities, highlighted by the country’s latest ‘Make in India’ campaign. Though industrial development is vital to add to the nations’s GDP, the environmental issues in the country have seen a steep rise evident in the toxic levels of air pollution in cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. By relying on sustainable sources of energy and setting up systems for smarter power management, a significant impact can be made on reducing carbon emissions.
Taking the first step in this direction, the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) located in Kerala, India, is all set to become the first airport in the country to be fully powered by solar power. The plant, scheduled to be inaugurated on August 18, 2015, has 46,000 solar panels and can produce 52,000 units of power daily which is equal to the daily requirement of power by CIAL at present. The solar plant will help CIAL to reduce carbon emissions equal to 1.75 lakh MT for the next 25 years. This is equal to planting 30 lakh trees.
The Cochin international airport will join a growing number of airports across the world that rely on green energy for their power requirements and are taking several measures to recycle waste.
Here are some of the other airport around the world that have taken measures to be come more environment friendly.
Galapagos Ecological Airport
Galapagos Ecological Airport (formally Seymour Airport) was built in 2012 to run solely on solar and wind power, and 80% of its infrastructure is made from materials recycled from the old building. It even has mechanical shutters that open and close depending on the building’s heat and CO2 levels. Fresh water needs of the airport are taken care of by the airport’s own desalination plant, which converts local seawater.
Logan International Airport, Boston, USA
Terminal A of Logan International Airport (officially Lt. General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport) is the first airport terminal in the United States to be LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified for environmentally friendly design by the U.S. Green Building Council. Among the building’s features are heat-reflecting roof and windows, low-flow faucets and waterless urinals, self-dimming lights and storm water filtration.
Zurich Airport, Switzerland
The airport, also know as Kloten Airport, takes noise pollution very seriously. They utilize a detailed noise mapping and measurement program and charge fees for aircraft noise based on aircraft type or category. The airport also underwent a voluntary reduction of emissions and is Airport Carbon Accredited by the Airports Council International, Europe. As part of the water management program, rain water is used for toilet flushing. The system also includes collecting and purifying the water that results from aircraft deicing procedures.
Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Sweden
In an effort to save electricity, buildings at Arlanda airport use district heating with biofuels and district cooling with water from a nearby lake. One of the most interesting eco-friendly systems Stockholm Arlanda Airport uses is their unique heating and cooling system for their hangar, terminals, and other buildings on the airfield. Their innovative system uses a series of wells which are linked to a large underground aquifer. The water from this underground source is plumbed up and into the facilities air system which controls the temperature of the air coming from the vents. In the summertime, the underground water remains cooler than the surface and in the winter months, the underground water remains warmer than the surface. This allows the terminals to be cooled/heated without using extra energy that an air conditioner would require.
East Midlands Airport, England
This airport mandates emissions testing for all airport vehicles and has a strict noise pollution program, with monitoring programs and specific routes for aircraft. East Midlands Airport enforces the policies strictly, and fines airlines that don’t follow the noise abatement program guidelines. The airport has also installed two wind turbines producing 5 per cent of the site’s energy and saving 300 tonnes of CO2 a year. It has also been recognized for its recycling program, which includes wood, metals, cardboard, glass and light filaments, as well as paper and magazines.