Middle East airports target carbon neutrality with environmental and emissions reduction initiatives
Graphic of new Concourse D at Dubai International
Thu 11 July 2013 – Dubai International Airport is undertaking a number of green initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of its new Concourse D, which will be the home for more than 100 airlines when it opens in 2015. These include adopting recycling programmes during construction, utilising locally sourced and recycled building materials and the use of renewable energy sources to reduce the carbon footprint of the facility. In addition, the overall volume of the building has been significantly reduced to lessen cooling requirements and a glass facade will allow for more effective use of daylight. The intention is to promote healthy, durable, affordable and environmentally sound practices in design, construction and building materials, say the airport operator and Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects. Meanwhile, Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport has become the second airport in the Middle East to become Airport Carbon Accredited, following Abu Dhabi International Airport.
“For Dubai Airports and our construction partner Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP), designing environmentally friendly terminals is key to limiting our energy consumption and carbon footprint over time, and fits in with our broader environmental policy. It also supports our industry’s target of carbon-neutral growth by 2020,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
Construction of the new concourse currently includes onsite recycling to avoid landfill disposal and easily accessible areas have been provided for the collection and storage of non-hazardous materials such as paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastic and material.
DAEP has pledged to source at least 10% of its building material from within 800km of Dubai International and 20% from recycled materials. In addition, the new building will make use of at least 50% – based on cost – of wood-based materials and products that are certified in accordance to Forest Stewardship Council’s principles and criteria. This, says DAEP, will contribute in reducing the negative environmental impacts of irresponsible forest practices.
An array of 192 solar panels covering 450 square metres will be erected on the roof of the building, which will have the dual benefit of generating power while keeping the building cool by reflecting sunlight, and generate around 1.8% of the concourse’s total power requirement. The use of improved insulation in the construction of the building will help better regulate temperature within the concourse, while thermal technology will be used to absorb sunlight in the day and radiate it during night-time hours.
The design also requires the use of more efficient lighting systems, which includes daylight sensors and less heat-intensive lighting that not only reduces energy consumption but also cuts the amount of energy needed to cool the concourse.
“With Concourse D we are taking another significant step towards providing our passengers with a more sustainable way to travel,” added Griffiths.
Meanwhile, Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) has become the second Middle East airport to be accredited under the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. The airport has achieved ‘Mapping’ level, which recognises its commitment in determining its own CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions sources, as well as engaging a third party to verify the airport’s annual carbon footprint.
The programme is the only institutionally-endorsed carbon management certification standard for airports. It was launched by Airports Council International (ACI) Europe in 2009 and was extended to ACI Asia-Pacific in November 2011.
“It is estimated that airport activities account for up to 5% of total aviation emissions, and we take our responsibility to the local community and the environment very seriously. This certification is evidence that QAIA is actively coordinating and streamlining its activities related to environmental protection,” said Kjeld Binger, CEO of Airport International Group (AIG), the Jordanian company responsible for the rehabilitation, expansion and operation of QAIA. “We are committed to the accreditation process, and will continue to work towards higher levels until we finally achieve and maintain zero net carbon emissions.”
AIG is ISO 14001 certified and operates in accordance with an environmental management plan and a waste management plan.