At a time when the aviation industry is constantly under fire for its poor green credentials, it is good to learn that Bristol Airport, although planning a huge expansion, is keen to improve its energy efficiency and reduce its harmful emissions.
Plans are afoot to build a wind turbine which would produce around a tenth of the electricity required by the airport. The proposed turbine would be 65 feet tall (less than the height of the existing light columns) so would not be obtrusive and would be positioned between the old and the new terminals.
At the moment feasibility studies are being carried out before plans are submitted to North Somerset Council. There is some doubt as to whether the turbine will need planning permission, but once this is clarified hopes are high that the turbine can be installed later this year with others planned for the future.
Other green initiatives under consideration include the burning of waste timber from a local supplier to heat the airport, and recycling used cooking oil from Bristol’s catering industry to produce fuel for the vehicles used on the ground.
A spokesman for the airport has said that he hopes the plans will demonstrate the airport’s commitment to lessening the impact of their activities on the environment and reducing the airport’s carbon footprint.
The proposed expansion of Bristol Airport is worth £80 million and would increase passenger levels by 50% from six million to nine million by 2015. Currently flights to and from Bristol are responsible for 0.4% of the region’s emissions, but this figure could rise to 0.7% if the proposed expansion plans are given the green light.