A majority of the airports of the world are great architectural masterpieces but they do little to the environment as a large number of carbon footprints are left behind. Such huge structures seem to be a colossal waste as they damage the environment badly. There are huge amount of CO2 emission which either comes from the airport or the airplanes. But things are changing for the better. Architects, nowadays are building airports that are environment-friendly and reduce these harmful CO2 emissions. There are many airports in the world which have taken steps in the right direction. They are not perfect yet but should be commended for their efforts. Here are the five leading green airports of the world:
1. East Midlands Airport, England
This airport has topped the eco friendly airports lists on more than one occasion. It boasts of an eco friendly pier that has ground-heating pumps, water recycling stations and water catchers. The management has some ambitious plans too. They will install wind turbines, green transportation and wildlife-walks around the airport. They have also earmarked a site for recycling.
The East Midlands Airport is known as a hub for low fare airlines like Bmibaby and Ryanair. There are holiday flights to Dominican Republic, Orlando and Cancun.These are operated by First Choice Airways. It is to be noted that East Midlands is the 2nd largest cargo airport in UK after Heathrow in London. The airport is also used by UPS and TNT, the renowned logistics companies.
2. Munich Airport, Germany
Munich Airport is the hub for Lufthansa and other airlines of Star Alliance. It is the 7th busiest airport in Europe and 12th busiest in the world. In 2010, it won the award for the Best Airport in Europe. The major facilities of the airport are located between the two runways. The western part houses the cargo and maintenance section. The airport has drawn up big plans to be carbon neutral by 2020. There is a plan in place for sustainable construction which will help to reduce carbon emission by 40 percent. The airport has already installed energy saving lighting and has supported green landscaping.
3. Zurich Airport, Switzerland
Zurich Airport is located in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland. It is the hub of Swiss International Airlines. The airport has been given a 4 star status by Skytrax. The airport handles 22.9 million passengers every year. This is a green airport and the most notable feature is the nature conservation zone that is sandwiched between two runways. A number of steps have been taken by the authorities to make this airport green like use of solar cells, geothermal energy for heating and cooling, the use of rainwater to flush airport toilets and a compressed natural gas station that has been built on the site. It also has a technology to collect solar energy whenever possible.
4. Denver International Airport, Denver
The Denver International Airport is the largest airport in the United States and the third largest International airport in the world. It is also the busiest airport in the US. It was also voted as the best airport in North America. It is the main hub for the low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines and Great Lakes Airlines. It is the only airport in the United States which have implemented the ISO 14001 certified environment management system.
The airport actively uses renewable energy resources and has used innovative ideas to transform the Denver airport into a green one. It has developed the world’s greenest parking lot and has established an on-site composting center. The airport uses solar panels to generate solar electricity and has successfully developed an environment management system to address ecological issues. For computers and monitors the airport uses energy efficient LCD screens.
5. Logan International Airport, Massachusetts
The Logan International Airport in Boston is the 19th busiest airport in the United States. It is the hub for Cape Air, a regional airline. It has no flights to Asia but Japan Airlines plans to start one next year. Since it is one of the twenty busiest airports in the world, it has a moral responsibility to reduce carbon waste. So far, it has not shirked its responsibility and has succeeded in reducing carbon emissions to a large extent.The airport is the first in the world to use runway materials which are environment friendly.The plumbing and irrigation systems are water efficient. The building has been constructed by use of recycled local materials. The staff of this airport come to work by availing the public transport.