Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), Africa’s largest airports authority, today hosted a stakeholder and media briefing on the impact of aviation on the environment. The event is being held to mark World Environment Day on Friday June 5 2009.
The rise in domestic and international air travel and increased freight traffic over the years has necessitated the implementation of sound environmental practises to mitigate the impact of its operations on the environment.
According to Chris Hlekane, General Manager of O.R. Tambo International Airport, Africa’s busiest airport, the expansion programmes put in place to meet this increase in traffic has seen improved efficiencies and in addition has seen a further need for compliance with environmental legislation.
“This growth has focused our attention on the impact we as a business have on our environment. ACSA’s environmental management focuses on aircraft noise, air quality, waste management and the use of renewable and sustainable energy sources,” Hlekane adds.
O.R. Tambo International disposes of 65 percent of its waste at landfills and the other 35 percent is recycled. The airport uses alternating routes to reduce the frequency of flights over the same area; together with its stakeholders it changes flights patterns to ensure that they do not pass over built up areas and also makes input into the Department of Transport regarding draft national policy on noise pollution.
Other initiatives geared towards saving energy include implementation of water sensors in wash basins and urinals and the replacement of lights bulbs with energy saving units, reducing redundant lighting and centralizing air conditioning systems.
“Environmental management is an ongoing exercise at our airport and we are constantly looking at innovative ways of improving. Environmental impact audits form an important part of our operations. The next one will be held in the second quarter of our current financial year.
“O.R. Tambo International is committed to the promotion of a healthy environment and we will continue to entrench sound environmental management philosophies and business practices that will sustain the airport and the communities around it,” concluded Hlekane.
For information, contact:
Group Manager: Communications
Airports Company South Africa