North American airports agree to implement ambitious environmental goals over the next decade
(photo: Denver International Airport)
Fri 13 Feb 2009 – Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), which represents most commercial airports in the US and Canada, has adopted a series of environmental goals covering all aspects of airport operations and management. It calls on every member airport to have an environmental policy by next year and for large airports to have in place an Environmental Management System by 2014. Other targets cover ground emissions, energy, noise, waste management and water quality.
The goals were adopted at a recent ACI-NA Board of Directors meeting and announced yesterday by its President, Greg Principato, in a speech before the National Aeronautic Association.
“ACI-NA undertook this initiative to help further the industry’s already proactive commitment to improving the overall environmental performance of airports,” he said. “These goals are a reflection of programmes that have proved to be successful at reducing environmental impacts at many of our member airports and seen as an opportunity to mirror those achievements across the industry.”
To achieve the targets, ACI-NA says it will help its member airports through increased education and information sharing, identification of funding needs and support for necessary research. “By working with their communities, regulators, Congress and industry partners, airports can move towards a cleaner, quieter aviation industry,” says the association.
One of the goals is for airports to convert half of all airport-owned and operated ground vehicles and ground support equipment to low emission alternatives by 2019. Another commits every airport having at least 25% of their loading bridges equipped with pre-conditioned air and 400Hz electrification by 2019, a move that will reduce emissions by aircraft that would otherwise use their jet fuel to drive onboard air conditioning and power systems.
The initiative also calls for half of all member airports to conduct greenhouse gas emissions inventories by 2015 and for all airports to develop noise and land use compatibility policies by 2019. It requires half of member airports to strive to provide incentives and/or reduced parking fees for low emission passenger vehicles by 2011.