Not only are Middle Eastern airlines such as Qatar Airlines and airports getting involved in “greening up their act.” Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, one of the largest in the Middle East region, is now becoming involved in improving its environmental profile.
Following the construction of the new Terminal 3 complex, Israel’s Environmental Ministry approved a Master Plan for reducing both noise and other pollutants emitted when commercial aircraft take off and land.
For years, the airport’s management has been required to submit an updated noise contour map on an annual basis to determine the amount of acoustic protection required by buildings close to the airport’s runways and aircraft taxiing areas. In a period between 1999 and 2005, a significant reduction in landing noise levels, from 17.4 to 35.5 % was achieved in noise contour areas around the airport.
The new Terminal 3 complex, since it’s opening in November, 2004, has served more than 29 million passengers and 30 million visitors and employees. In a survey conducted in 2007, the Airport Council International (ACI) the airport was highly ranked among world airports serving 5 to 15 million passengers a year.
Despite this progress, a lot more needs to be done to turn Ben Gurion International into a truly environmental friendly one.
In November, 2008, the chairman of the board of directors of the Israel Airports Authority, Ovadia Eli, issued instructions to the airport management to prepare an operative plan for the airport to function as a truly “green airport.”
The plan is to include ways to reduce air pollution (greenhouse gases) and water pollution and noise pollution, plus treating dangerous substances, recycling waste, conserving energy and using alternative sources and promoting green construction, while preserving natural resources and panoramic views.
As can be testified by virtually everyone who has visited the new facilities, especially those who have flown out of or landed there, the new terminal, with its spacious departure and arrivals halls –– new restaurants and other shops –– and especially with passengers no longer having to be bused to and from aircraft, the new aerial gateway is a great improvement over the older facility that had previously been in operation, with all its congestion, high noise levels and other problems.
The new airport facilities will endeavor to continue offering passengers and visitors a high level of efficiency and service while making a greater effort improve the environmental aspects, including disposal of sewage and food wastes, proven to be a major problem at large airport terminals.
This effort is to be coordinated along with the worldwide trend of “green airports” while continuing the airport’s high level of security for which it is known for.
[image via hendry]