Silesia Airport

Katowice International Airport magazine

Silesia Airport
Issue 59


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Environmental Protection

Eco Airport

The consistently increasing number of passengers and aircraft operations at Katowice International Airport is resulting in an increase in the expectations of it being able to meet the requirements regarding the protection of the natural environment. Environmental protection at the airport is an extremely difficult, costly and arduous task, owing to the specific workings of the airport, which can create environmental problems such as noise pollution, air-borne particles, problems arising from the pollution of the water table and the treatment of waste at the airport. Of course, emergency and crisis situations create a completely separate assortment of environmental problems. The most problematic of all environmental issues facing the airport at the given time are related to noise pollution, which is a concern in no way separable from the workings of an airport and the airlines utilising it. One initiative which can help limit this form of pollution is the establishment of a restricted use zone around the airport. Currently, a zone such as this is in the process of being determined around Katowice International Airport. In order to facilitate inspections of the area, as well as the buildings in its confines, a GIS (Geographic Information System) database has been developed. This solution is the only one of its kind in Poland.

For the past several years, the Upper Silesian Aviation Group (GTL - Polish abbrev.) has embarked on a series of pro-ecological investments such as: the building of a new biological sewage treatment plant and the installation of separators of oils and their derivatives.

These undertakings have been recognised by the European Forum for Ecological Responsibility, which is run under the auspices of the Ministry of the Environment, resulting in GTL, in 2008, being awarded the "2007 Companies Close to Nature Award".

The Katowice International Airport management board has no intention of resting on its laurels and plans for the expansion of the airport's infrastructure relating directly to environmental protection. Currently, work on improving the water-sewage utilities is being carried out and the GTL management board is waiting for project approval. Upon authorisation, work will commence on the airport drainage project which will include the fitting of further safety installations (oil derivative separators) protecting sewage collection equipment from the potential consequences of leakages. This project has been granted European Union funding - or, more specifically - the TEN-T Programme. Katowice International Airport is the only airport in Poland to be awarded funding under this programme, and one of only four in the whole European Union.

Owing to the fact that GTL is giving issues relating to environmental protection the highest priority, further investments are planned to involve energy-saving and BAT (Best Available Techniques) technologies. These policies will be put into place with the soon to commence building of the new passenger terminal at Katowice International Airport. Also, due to the airport's preparations for the UEFA EURO 2012 Football Championships, which will produce a marked increase in airport passenger movement, GTL is also preparing an efficient waste management team. The Group aims to achieve its plans to fit existing legal frameworks and environmental norms, but aspires to lead by example in terms of environmental protection by developing its image as an environmentally-friendly company.


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