Environment - An Emerging Issue

Funding, security, safety among topics at gathering of North American airports

“The train is rolling, something’s going to happen,” says Brigitte Goersch, director of security at the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, where vehicle checkpoints for employee screening are already established. “It’s best if we can maintain as much control as possible.”

Environmental Issues
The importance of environmental issues and sustainability were anything but understated at ACI-NA this year, with two separate sessions dedicated to the subject.

“There is a longstanding global consensus that environmental concerns can limit future aviation growth,” says Howard Aylesworth, director of Civil Aviation and Environment for AIA.

“Today, the need is to bring airports, airlines, manufacturers, and communities together to address the environmental issue as the defining issue.”

But a question, it seems, is how to balance all environmental issues — including noise and air pollution — so one doesn’t negatively impact the other.

“Climate change is the issue du jour,” says Aylesworth. “But it doesn’t make sense to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at the expense of other environmental considerations.”

Furthermore, when does an airport know that the job is done?

“If every building on the airport were LEED platinum-certified, would that equal a sustainable airport?” asks Gary Rahl, vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.

Geoffrey Galtere, principal project manager for airport IT systems at Parsons, says incorporating Energy Star power management features will help save money and the environment — $75 per year, per machine. For a facility with 100 machines, that’s $7,500 per year.

Panelists say that solving issues plaguing the entire aviation industry — such as congestion — would also help solve environmental concerns. Says Aylesworth, “Capacity enhancement has a vital role to play and it is an essential part of the solution...Reducing airport congestion and air traffic delay could reduce CO2 emissions substantially.”

Notes from the floor
According to ACI-NA, there were 125 exhibitors at more than 200 booths on the conference show floor this year. Exhibitor news of note ...

  • ARINC introduces AMS Device-Level Monitoring, which allows the ARINC service desk to see what’s going on in almost all devices in an airport’s system. The monitoring allows AMS managers to detect and identify failures across a system, and is intended to simplify IT support and shorten repair times.
  • Motorola demonstrated RFID technology use for baggage handling, which is already being used at McCarran International and Hong Kong International. RFID replaces barcodes on baggage tickets, thereby increasing baggage visibility while allowing for bags to be located between check-in and arrival.
  • ACI, in partnership with MERX, debuts Aerobidz, an e-tendering service. The website, www.aerobidz.aero, is intended to connect airports with suppliers. It’s free for ACI member airports to post contract opportunities and supporting documents.

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