Palmerston North Airport to go green
Palmerston North Airport has expanded its goal to be New Zealand’s leading regional airport by tackling the challenge to be the first regional airport to go green.
Chief executive David Lanham said the company would be developing a road map, or rather, a flight path, to carbon neutrality.
The plan related mainly to the airport operations that were under the company’s control, rather than aircraft emissions, but would include working with its customers.
Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington airports had begun taking steps to become carbon neutral, and Queenstown had not yet adopted a plan, leaving the way clear for Palmerston North to lead the regions.
Lanham said the company was looking for an accreditation process to guide and measure its efforts.
It would also need to use consultants to provide expertise not usually found in a small airport management team.
‘‘We have not really started yet, but are managing our energy consumption, and have switched to LED lighting.’’
It was also building a waste storage facility that would enable extra sorting to be done, reducing the volumes that had to go to a landfill.
Lanham said the company wanted to be a leader for regional environmental guardianship.
The airport’s plans for the next three years put community involvement alongside its other three themes of customer service, civil aviation and safety com- pliance, and commercial development.
After a period of strong growth in passenger numbers, that trend was expected to slow, with 638,970 passengers expected to pass through the terminal in the 12 months to the end of June, 2018.
The company’s main focus would be development of the Ruapehu Business Park and the land along Airport Drive.
Green Party-endorsed city councillor Brent Barrett, who posed the environmental challenge to the airport company in 2017, said he was pleased it was responding.
‘‘It is a guaranteed positive for the airport to head in this direction.
‘‘I’m pleased they are not waiting until they get formal measurements to make a start.’’
LED lighting is one of the switches Palmerston North Airport makes in its bid to reduce energy use and waste.