Airport takes flight to carbon reduction

Mount Isa Airport has been recognised for mapping its carbon footprint after achieving level one accreditation under the Airports Council International’s Airport Carbon Accreditation program.

Airport Carbon Accreditation is the only independent global standard for carbon management at airports which recognises and accredits the efforts of airports to manage and reduce their carbon emissions.

Level one ‘mapping’ requires an airport to collect independently verified data on its carbon emissions.

Mount Isa Airport Chief Operating Officer Kevin Gill said the accreditation provided confirmation the airport’s carbon footprint was mapped in accordance with relevant standards, with the next step being to formalise a carbon reduction strategy.

“We have already made significant steps in reducing the carbon footprint at Mount Isa Airport, with our carpark solar array generating a considerable percentage of the airport’s power,” Mr Gill said.

“Our next step is to move to level two accreditation in the next financial year.”

Mount Isa Airport’s car park upgrade was completed in April 2017 saw the installation of 820 solar panels on the roof of the shade structures.

The 258kW solar array system offsets more than 80 per cent off the airport’s electricity usage during daylight hours, which equates to about 374 tonnes of CO2 offset per year.

Mount Isa Airport will receive its accreditation certificate at the Airports Council International AsiaPacific Regional Assembly in Tokyo on April 24 this year.

Queensland Airports Limited Chief Executive Officer Chris Mills said every QAL-operated airport was now accredited at level one or above.

“This Group-wide commitment to sustainability reflects the importance placed by QAL on social responsibility,” Mr Mills said.

“It is great to see all airports on board, either having achieved or moving towards an emissions reduction level.”

Airports Council International Asia-Pacific Regional Director Patti Chau congratulated Mount Isa Airport on the accreditation.

“All airports operated by Queensland Airports Limited are now Airport Carbon Accredited and this is a demonstration of the airport group’s strong commitment in operating its airports in an environmentally sustainable manner,” Ms Chau said.

“ACI will continue to work with our airport members in their journey towards carbon neutrality which is crucial for the sustainable development of our industry.”

The accreditation comes after Mount Isa Airport received the Environmental Management (Regional Airport) award at the Australian Airports Association’s 2017 National Airport Industry Awards for its solar array project.

QAL is a regional airport specialist also operating Gold Coast, Townsville and Longreach airports.

Gold Coast, Mount Isa and Longreach airports are accredited at level one Airport Carbon Accreditation, and Townsville at level two.