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Feature - 22 July 2008 (SPG Airport Tech)

Airports’ Eco-Friendly Efforts to Go Green

Airports everywhere are heeding the call to go greener or risk unsustainable climatic and financial consequences. Fleur Doidge checks out the environment.

Acts of corporate social responsibility can yield genuine financial benefit as well as competitive advantage, according to recent research by leading information technology company IBM. It’s a growth opportunity; it’s not just about compliance with new red tape and it’s not just about the public and its ever-fickle views. So, airports everywhere are implementing ambitious environmental initiatives in the face of expected climate change.

January 2008 saw the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) award a S$300m tender for its next-generation air traffic control to Thales for its long-range radar and display system III, an extra-efficient system that not only features the latest communications technologies but should help air traffic controllers get the planes in and out of Changi International Airport that much faster.

Lim Kim Choon, CAAS director-general, believes LORADS III will enhance safety and efficiency. "More efficient air traffic management will bring about greater efficiency for airlines which in turn translates to more fuel savings," he says.

LORADS III is a small symptom of what’s happening everywhere.

In the US, specialist consultancy the Clean Airport Partnership’s (CAP) Green Airport Initiative (GAI), is a tool several US airports are using to guide their future development – enabling them to lift their environmental standards while still sustaining growth.


According to CAP, Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) airport in Texas is rapidly becoming a model green airport. As part of GAI, DFW has committed to cleaner air, lower emissions and increased energy efficiency in a comprehensive programme influencing all aspects of the airport’s operations.

DFW is working to cut emissions from all landside vehicles, including taxis and delivery trucks, as well as promoting carpooling and public transport. It’s also altering traffic flow around the airport to further cut emissions.

20% of DFW emissions are from ground support equipment, 62% from aircraft and 2% from auxiliary aircraft power units, according to . . .


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