Green Airport Concept, Features and Examples Full Guide

Green Airport has been in the news for quite some time as more and more airports are going green. According to studies by ATAG, the global aviation industry produces 2% of all anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. When it comes to climate change, the aviation industry is under increasing pressure to clean up its act, but gas-guzzling planes aren’t the only culprits. 

As airports grow, so does their carbon footprint and emissions. As new terminals, ground transportation vehicles, and facilities are built, the energy demand increases. 

As a result, many airports around the world have incorporated greener elements into their designs and operations strategies, as well as pledged to support environmentally sustainable initiatives thereby transforming  into green airports. Before we dig into the details about various green airports around the globe I will show you what exactly a green airport is.

What is the Green Airport concept?

Green airport is an airport that complies with the latest sustainability criteria, reduces the effects of airport activities on the environment, and mitigates the impact of climate change on related facilities and operations.

In this blog let me take you on a trip to various green airports in the world and we will analyse the key features that make each one a green airport.

Green Airports in the world

A number of airports around the world have begun to implement “green” programmes in order to make their buildings greener and more environmentally friendly. Here are 5 such airports that have earned international recognition for their sustainable and green initiatives.

1. Boston Logan International Airport, US

  • The world’s first air terminal to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accreditation is located at Boston Logan International Airport. 
  • Its Terminal A has heat-reflective roofing and pavement surfaces, as well as water-saving low-flow bathroom fixtures.
  • One of the airport’s runways was resurfaced with environmentally friendly asphalt that could be heated at a lower temperature during the construction process which would result in a 2,000t reduction in carbon emissions over the lifetime of the project. 
  • The airport’s offices are topped with a fleet of 6ft tall wind turbines that generate about 3% of the energy required for operations.

Seems like Boston Airport is pacing really fast towards being a green airport, right? Let’s look at the other ones which are turning into green airports.

2. Galapagos Ecological Airport, Galapagos Islands – World’s first completely Green Airport. 

  • Built to operate entirely on solar and wind energy, with windmills providing 65% of total energy and photovoltaic panels on walkways providing 35%
  • Steel pipes taken from oil extraction fields were used to build 80% of the infrastructure.
  •  Wood and metal structures from the airport’s previous home, Seymour, were reused, and furniture was made with environmentally friendly materials.
  • A desalination plant is also present at the airport, which collects seawater and purifies it for use in the terminal. 
  • The wastewater is then pumped back into the treatment facility for future use by travellers.
Green Airport
Green Airport

3. Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore

Singapore’s Changi Airport is not only one of the best in the world, but it also has a reputation for being environmentally friendly.

  • With skylights to enhance natural light, air conditioners located closer to the floor, and an abundance of greenery.
  • The recently opened Terminal 4 features a green wall with over 20,000 plant species, which lowers the temperature of the airport and increase air quality.
  • Energy-efficient motion sensors and lighting, water-efficient fittings, and roof-mounted solar panels are among the other features installed at Changi.

4. Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Sweden- First Green Airport to achieve carbon neutrality

  • The only airport in the world with an environmental permit that includes a limit on carbon dioxide emissions.
  • In this green airport, hangars and airfield buildings are heated with a special biofuel system to conserve energy. 
  • A collection of wells connected to an underground aquifer collect water and sends it to the terminal’s air conditioning system in the summer.
  •  This approach is often used to heat cement pads near the airport’s hangars, preventing ice from forming on the doors and ramps.

5. Delhi Indira Gandhi Airport, India

  • The 5.4 million-square-foot Terminal 3 at the airport features well-lit departure lounges, 1,200 low-power LCD displays, 300 rainwater harvesting stations, and erosion-control storm drains. 
  • Passengers are transported between terminals and baggage claim using battery-powered vehicles.
  • Indira Gandhi Airport recently received two awards for its environmental stewardship,     
  1. Wings India Award for the ‘Most Sustainable and Green Airport,’ 
  2. ACI’s designation as the world’s best airport with over 40 million passengers a year.

Through this blog, we have taken a closer look at some green airports that are setting a precedent for other aviation hubs to emulate by sustainable practices and the use of renewable fuel sources. What do you think of these features and what other energy-saving measures and sustainable practices can be adopted to uplift our airports to the status of a green airport? Let me know in the comments.

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