Three years since it became operational, King Shaka International Airport has made great strides in protecting and preserving the communities around it.
The airport is Airports Company South Africa’s first green-field project, located 35 kilometres north of Durban in La Mercy, which is an area known for its rich biodiversity.
As part of the development, an undertaking was made that the airport’s existence should ensure that it does not disturb fauna and flora around it. Airports Company South Africa had to ensure that its construction adhered to stringent environmental requirements, which include the development and implementation of operational plan for noise, air quality, water quality, waste water, groundwater, wetlands as well as flora and fauna.
“Since the airport become operational, we have sought to uphold and exemplify Airports Company South Africa’s sound environmental management framework, which is in line with global benchmarks,” says King Shaka International Airport spokesperson, Colin Naidoo.
“This has entailed adopting innovative practices that ensure that we align our business performance with good governance, social and environmental responsibilities,” he adds.
Airports Company South Africa’s environmental strategy focuses on energy conservation and climate change, water resource management, noise management, waste management, air pollution and biodiversity.
King Shaka International is making great progress across all categories. It has adopted and implemented several innovative initiatives across all key areas with the overarching objective being to ensure that, as one of South Africa’s three busiest with annual passenger traffic of between five and six million, its operations do not negatively impact on the communities around it.
In terms of energy saving, the airport uses Light Emitting Diodes (LED) technology for its runway lights, terminal directional signage and street lighting. All lighting at its retail section and at public parking has been replaced with lower wattage lamps and excess light luminaries in public areas and 450 unnecessary down lighters in air bridges have been removed.
The airport also has a state-of-the art Building Management System, which switches off office lights and air-conditioners after business hours, and also reduces the temperature settings on all water heaters to save electricity.
King Shaka International has made great strides in waste management and water management. It is recycling approximately 41 per cent of the solid non-hazardous waste generated on site while water usage at the site does not exceed the requirement as stipulated in the Record of Decision for construction and operation of the airport. This is done by implementing various water loss prevention measures.