Fri, 22nd February 2019 | Updated Tuesday 13 March 2018, 06:23:39
Seychelles Nation 10-February-2017 - Will the Seychelles International Airport one day become green like the Galapagos Ecological Airport, officially known to be first green airport in the world and which runs completely on solar and wind power?
Or will it at least be as eco-friendly as airports such as the Amsterdam Schiphol, Toronto Pearson International or the US international airports of Denver, Chicago O'Hare, and San Diego?
These ecological airports combine sustainable initiatives which include rain water harvesting, waste water recycling, wind turbines and solar panels for energy production, rooftop gardens and other eco-friendly indoor and outdoor space, electric or natural gas run vehicles, LED lights for runways, airfield signs and guard lights. Other sustainable features include natural lighting options, solar arrays, drought tolerant landscaping, reflective roofs and green or recycled construction materials as well as paint. If the list looks ambitious for the Pointe Larue airport, this has not prevented the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) from embracing a greener future.
The initiative started more than two years ago when the SCAA adopted a strategy which the agency has named 'Eco Leap', where it set out specific objectives which puts the environment at the forefront of the airport's daily transactions.
It took a further step forward yesterday with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the SCAA and the Seychelles Energy Commission (Sec). The Energy Efficient Lighting Agreement which was signed by Sec's chief executive (CEO) Tony Imaduwa and SCAA's general manager for Operations Wilfred Fock Tave paves the way for a partnership in the replacement of old 250 watts high pressure fluorescent mercury discharge lamps with eco-friendly 55 to 65 watts LED ones.
The project is also being implemented with the support of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and the United Nations Development Programme under its partnership with the government of Seychelles, known as the GOS-UNDP-GEF Project. It aims at promoting an environment that favours the adoption of resource efficient technologies and practices.
Mr Fock Tave remarked that with the airport being one of the biggest energy consumers in the country, it was fitting for the SCAA to move to an efficient lighting system. The project, he said, will bring a more environmentally conscious approach to its operations.
"The SCAA is embracing a greener future and since the start of its 'Eco Leap' project, it has placed the environment at a central point in the airport community's daily transactions," he said.
Mr Imaduwa on his side declared that as SCAA is committed to go green and be energy efficient, it was not difficult to choose the agency as a partner. Promising the support will not stop with this ongoing project, he hoped that the partnership will serve as a catalyst which will permit other organisations to follow the good example.
He has at the same time stated that the Sec is already helping other establishments such as hotels, schools as well as the Montagne Posée Prison put into place energy saving schemes, before soon moving to public buildings. In the future, he said, an Energy Management System with a certain level of efficiency will be compulsory for all large organisations.
SCAA's general manager for Engineering and Technical Services Claude Mondon has commented that the replacement of old lamps which has been in use since the building of the airport in 1972 will eventually permit SCAA to reduce its energy consumption to up to 72%. With some lights already changed, he says that the airport is already making a savings of nearly R300,000 a year.
He added that the new bulbs are maintenance free and as they are cooler, attract fewer insects.
The SCAA has said that in line with its Energy, Environment and Sustainability Policy, it will continue to invest in eco-friendly initiatives such as rain water harvesting, photovoltaic installations and energy saving air condition units.
As Mr Fock Tave has commented, this will surely make of Pointe Larue a greener airport.
Source: Seychelles Nation @ http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=252849