Environmental Management: the Key to the Alleviation of Airport Capacity
THOMAS C, Manchester Airport, UK
A fully developed global aviation network is essential for the global economy and in developing a global village culture. Within aviation, airports are major employers and essential economic generators for the regions they serve. This economic benefit ari
A fully developed global aviation network is essential for the global economy and in developing a global village culture. Within aviation, airports are major employers and essential economic generators for the regions they serve. This economic benefit arises directly from airport related activity, from tourism and from the inward investment airports attract.
Generally, environmental impact grows at a rate broadly proportional to economic activity. Most environmental legislation is therefore aimed at controlling the impact of GDP and growth rates in line with GDP. Where a process or industry has significant environmental effect or a growth rate out of step with general economic or environmental trends, there must be an extraordinary focus on environmental management if it is to prosper. Demand for airport capacity is generally growing at 2-10 times the rate of growth of GDP for most countries.
Aviation's growth, increasing land take, local ground transport effects, energy demand and noise impact on local communities mean that perhaps more than any other industry aviation needs to act responsibly. Most of these adverse (and the beneficial) effects become apparent around airports (high level emissions and energy use are still not high on the domestic agenda It is at airports therefore, where the brunt of conflict with society arises, often encompassing contradictory community views (pro and anti) depending on the distance from the airport. It is within and around airports therefore where real actions and community safeguards are needed if the wider benefits arising from air travel are to be realised.
In addition to strategic benefits in terms of responsible development, environmental management also offers superb opportunities for revenue and capital cost reduction. Thus, profitability and the ability o.f airports to reduce tenant's overheads can be supported by an effective environmental management system.
The keys to effective environmental management are:
High quality and integrated environmental skills
Clear strategy, policy, targets and cross site standards.
Partnership with airport companies regulators, planning authorities and communities
Fiscal and enforcement controls (including contractors)
Adequate training and awareness
A clear management and reporting structure
Association for European Transport