Air Transport World

Green benefits: airports are finding that reducing their environmental impact also lowers costs.(Eco-Aviation)

AIRPORTS, HARDLY IMMUNE FROM THE INTENSE PRESSURE ON commercial aviation to become more environmentally friendly, are in a bit of a tough spot because most of the carbon dioxide emitted around their facilities comes from aircraft they neither own nor operate. But managers of all kinds of large buildings increasingly are realizing how much more efficiently power can be used if relatively minor adjustments are made, yielding smaller CO2 footprints as well as big cost savings.


Airports are replete with large facilities that historically often used energy inefficiently, experts say. "We don't build buildings particularly well in this country and we tend not to operate them well," Dallas/Fort Worth International VP and Sustainability Officer-Energy and Transportation Management Rusty Hodapp tells ATW. "There is a lot of low-hanging fruit available." By optimizing heating, ventilation and lighting systems, large buildings typically can reduce energy consumption by 10%-25%, he says.


Speaking at the recent Airports Council International-North America Conference and Exhibition in Pittsburgh, Seattle-Tacoma International MD Mark Reis asserted that airports should be driven to become more energy efficient to reap the financial rewards no matter what they may think about the environmental impact of their facilities.

"This is not being done for the good of the Earth, although [it does have positive environmental benefits] but we are really doing it to save lots of money," he commented. Becoming environmentally efficient "is a huge opportunity for airports to reduce costs." He projected that 85% of SEA 's passenger growth over the next 20 years will be facilitated "just through conservation" rather than building new facilities. …

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