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Air Transport Brown Bag Luncheons


ADS-B Technologies


Over-the-Horizon ADS-B for Global Air Traffic Control              An innovative way to address environmental and safety challenges in air transportation

11 May, 2011

An Air Transport Brown Bag Luncheon was held on 11 May, 2011 at the World Bank on the topic of ADS-B technology for air traffic control. Skip Nelson from ADS-B Technologies presented this innovative approach, as well as some recent installations in China, the experiences in Alaska, and developments on long-haul oceanic routes that greatly improve efficiency.

Efficient and safe air transport services have become a basic ingredient for economic development around the world. However, the industry has come under increased scrutiny given its growing environmental impact, especially fostering the effect of climate change by its CO2 emissions. One of the low hanging fruits of reducing CO2 emissions are measures achieving fuel efficiency in flight operations. More direct routings or continuous descent approaches are two examples of effectively introducing such measures.

In terms of safety, air transportation has reached a remarkable record. Nevertheless, air traffic surveillance in developing countries is generally very modest as many states cannot afford radar coverage for effective surveillance. As a result, many emerging are still controlled by "procedural air traffic control", which is inefficient and less accurate.

The new surveillance technologies, so called Automatic Dependance Surveillance System Broadcast (ADS-B), are currently deployed in the US and some other areas around the world. These new, innovative technologies provide very accurate surveillance capability at a fraction of the cost of traditional radar systems (compare it with the introduction of cell phones, substituting land lines). The Bank is currently preparing a few air transport infrastructure projects with components for the introduction of ADS-B in Tonga, Tanzania and several other countries.

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carbon neutral airport design

Carbon Neutral Airport Design


Carbon Neutral Airport Design

04 March, 2010

An Air Transport Brown Bag Lunch with the topic of carbon neutral airport design was held on 4 March, 2010 at the World Bank. Guest speakers from SNC-LAVALIN Inc. outlined and discussed with Bank staff and invited guests the concept of carbon and energy neutral airport design. The presentation was based on the example of a concept and master plan for Nantes Notre-Dame-des-Landes Airport, for which SNC-LAVALIN was retained as a principal bidder. The elements for a carbon and energy neutral airport design include:

  • On-site power generation: burning of wood pellets from on-site forests, and photovoltaic solar energy to generate electricity;
  • Air treatment, heating and cooling: heat production through a wood co-generation plant, while air conditioning is avoided, and cooling done by ground-coupled heat exchange;
  • Low energy water strategy: water efficient systems are selected, and rain water is collected for use in lavatories;
  • Selection of materials: materials are selected based on embodied carbon content, and renewability;
  • Energy efficiency: emphasis is put on natural ventilation, renewable energies, and optimal terminal layout;
  • Runway orientation: designed to lower taxi distances for aircraft;
  • Operational strategies and concepts: each operational procedure is reviewed with regards to its energy and carbon effectiveness (e.g. refueling operations, handling);
  • Building design and passive techniques: energy efficient designs and techniques are chosen;
  • Earthworks and drainage: low impact drainage systems are developed (e.g. natural trenches instead if pipes where possible);
  • Site layout with retention of the natural landscape: zoning of agricultural land, as well as trees in parking area provide balance (CO2 absorption).
The discussed airport project in Nantes represents a new design to operate a sustainable carbon neutral airport capable of handling 4 million passengers, with expansion capabilities to 9 million passengers per year. The project will also be a pilot project in France for High Quality Environment (HQE) certification, in compliance with the Grenelle Treaty that will help to define international standards for sustainability in airport and airport design. In terms of cost, SNC-LAVALIN considers the investment at the terminal to be between 10 to 20% higher than for a terminal of traditional design and technology. However, the return on investment of expenditures in energy efficiency and on-site power production provides a much faster pay-back period (only a few years). In addition, given the fact that the cost for greenfield airports is primarily investments in earth moving and runway construction, the overall additional cost (total cost for terminal, runways, taxiways, and apron) is relatively small.

The proposed master plan and airport concept are awaiting the final bid evaluation (currently the financial terms of a 65 year airport concession to SNC-LAVALIN are negotiated). However, regardless of the outcome, one of the conclusions of the Brown Bag Lunch (BBL) was that moving airport design towards a more sustainable concept represents an example of a concrete measure on how to address climate change in air transportation. It is expected that governments and private sector investments will increasingly seek such "green investments in infrastructure." From Bank operations' perspective, the BBL team felt that the example of this airport design represents an interesting opportunity to help developing countries address environmental challenges in air transportation. It was suggested, that the Bank could condition the financing of airport infrastructure (e.g. new or refurbished terminals) on the application of a green (carbon neutral) design and operational layout. However, the Bank must also outline and demonstrate to the client that a green design could in fact be a financially positive choice. SNC-LAVALIN will provide the Bank with further updates and information about the carbon neutral airport design concept and project progress.




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