Every little counts
We turn the spotlight on Hamad International Airport’s efforts to enhance its waste management, green operations at Phnom Penh International Airport and carbon accreditation for Hawke’s Bay Airport.
Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) to improve its waste management.
As a result, Qatar’s gateway to the world says that it will develop and modernise its facilities by implementing new, more effective methods of waste management.
The MoU outlines the collaboration between MATAR – the Qatar Company for Airports Management and Operation – and the government for the management of different types of waste from DOH to the MME’s Domestic Solid Waste Management Centre.
According to the airport, the objectives of the MoU include the development of an integrated system for waste separation, safe transportation, recycling and disposal of waste, and the promotion of environmental awareness and culture of sustainability at DOH.
Hamad International Airport’s chief operating officer, Badr Mohammed Al Meer, said: “We are committed to optimising our airport operations by improving our environmental performance.
“We are delighted to continue to contribute to Qatar’s National Vision 2030 pillar of environmental development by entering this strategic partnership with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment to further enhance our waste management systems.”
The airport, which celebrated its seventh anniversary in May, is confident that the new collaboration with MME will enhance its existing measures to reduce waste, greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution.
Hamad International Airport’s sustainability measures also extend to wastewater management, with most water used at the airport directed to DOH’s dedicated wastewater treatment plant, which returns the treated water for irrigating the airport’s landscape features.
In 2018, DOH’s treatment plant was successful in recovering 93% of wastewater for re-use. The airport insists that it continually reviews its systems to identify ways of improving its long-term efficiency and sustainability.
More environmentally-friendly ground handling equipment
Phnom Penh International Airport – a member of the VINCI Airports network – has installed Fixed Electrical Ground Power (FEGP) units and Pre-Conditioned Air (PCA) units to cater to aircraft at parking bays.
The new systems, fixed under its passengers boarding bridges, allow aircraft to directly get electricity and air conditioning from the airport facilities.
Previously, auxiliary power units (APU) had been the main source of power for idled airplanes. The switch to FEGP and PCA aims at substantially reducing the use of APUs, which are noisy jet-fuel mini reactors that emit CO2, and other local pollutants, curbing operational efficiency on the apron.
VINCI Airports believes that the commissioning of the new technologies demonstrates its strong commitment to combatting climate change through its global environmental strategy, AirPact.
Last October, Phnom Penh and Cambodia’s other two international airports achieved Level 2 status in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme – the world’s only voluntary global initiative for greenhouse gas emission reductions at airports.
“Despite this unprecedented crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, our network of airports continues engaging and investing in long-term initiatives that foster green development,” says Hervé Bonin, general manager of Phnom Penh International Airport.
“We want our actions to not only benefit the airport stakeholders but also wider communities. Having airlines and the Cambodian civil aviation agency join this scheme is also instrumental to its success, and we want to extend our appreciation to those key partners.”
Sustainability taking off at Hawke’s Bay Airport
Hawke’s Bay Airport is taking big strides on its path to sustainability, becoming the first regional airport in New Zealand to gain a Level 2 certification under the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.
Airport chief executive, Stuart Ainslie, enthuses: “We’ve made a conscious decision to put sustainability at the heart of our business, and this is an important step toward our ultimate goal: being New Zealand’s most sustainable airport.”
Hawke’s Bay Airport achieved Level 1 status in January 2020, mapping its carbon emissions and approving a plan for reducing and offsetting. Ainslie says achieving Level 2 a year later required the airport to show that it had made meaningful change in its emissions.
“It’s a stringent process with everything verified by independent and qualified experts. It shows that our commitment to sustainability is more than just words – we’re actually on the way to making a real difference.”
To date, Hawke’s Bay Airport has achieved a 12% reduction in average emissions per passenger, using the 2016-2018 period as a baseline, and Ainslie quips that they are only just getting started.
“We’ve looked at emissions that are within our control and have switched to 100% renewable and CarboNZero-certified electricity, as well as adding electric and hybrid vehicles into our fleet,” he says. “We’re now constructing a new Bikeport that will connect to our cycleways, and we’re working closely with Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay to improve wildlife habitats across the region.
“We’ve made good progress but recognise that it’s only the beginning of a journey. We’re committed to being leaders in this space and have set a goal of being the first carbon neutral airport in New Zealand. We’ve developed a plan to help us get us there, and we’re already working towards it.”