Palmer­ston North Air­port to go green

The Tribune (NZ) - - PNCC 10-YEAR PLAN - JA­NINE RANKIN

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.’’

PHOTO: DAVID UN­WIN/STUFF

LED light­ing is one of the switches Palmer­ston North Air­port makes in its bid to re­duce en­ergy use and waste.

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