Ground / Airport
Pictures courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle and CleanTechnica
5 October 2009 | San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has installed self-service kiosks that enable passengers to offset the carbon emissions of their flight. Three so-called ‘Climate Passport’ kiosks are located beyond security checkpoints in the domestic and international terminals. The touch screen kiosks determine how many pounds of carbon dioxide a trip will produce, and then calculate the sum an environmentally conscious traveler should contribute reduce greenhouse gases.
Paying at the kiosks is relatively simple. Travelers enter their flight’s origin and destination, their number of passengers and whether they plan to fly round-trip. The machine then calculates a fee that can be paid via credit card to counteract the carbon emitted into the atmosphere during their trip. The kiosk shows how many pounds of carbon dioxide each passenger is responsible for, then charges USD13.50 per ton of emissions. For example, a passenger flying round-trip from San Francisco to JFK in New York would be responsible for offsetting 3,824 pounds of carbon dioxide at a cost of USD23.42. For every USD13.50 collected, USD12 goes toward reforestation efforts to suck up carbon dioxide at the 23,780-acre Garcia River Forest in Mendocino County, California, and USD1.50 helps fund San Francisco’s green initiatives, which thus far has helped fund a biodiesel business and tree plantings in the city.
The voluntary program for travelers is the first of its kind among U.S. airports. According to San Francisco airport: “We felt it was a good public service for our passengers and for the environment”. The airport anticipates the kiosks will take a while to catch on, and will monitor purchases made at the machines monthly. Travelers can also access the Climate Passport program through SFO’s website (http://sfo.3degreesinc.com). In May 2007, Eindhoven Airport, a regional airport in the Netherlands, was the first airport in the world to install a CO2 offset kiosk.
4 October 2009 | Heathrow Airport has launched Europe’s first Power Poles, which will enable passengers to charge electronic devices for free. The 47 Power Poles at the departure lounges of Terminals 1 and 3 are wired with eight outlets and provide counters to place laptop computers.The Power Poles have been developed after Heathrow passenger insight revealed one of the most common customer requests was to charge their electronic devices whilst in the departure lounges. The hubs also house a glass display unit to showcase sponsor Samsung’s latest electronic devices. The ‘Power Poles’ have been designed by JCDecaux Airport. Paris airports have installed fifty five terminals for recharging mobile phones at the airports of Charles de Gaulle and Orly. Read full article »
27 September 2009 | Motor Development International (MDI), which is run by a former aeronautics and Formula 1 engineer, has developed a zero-emission vehicle that runs on compressed air and is called the Airpod. The fiberglass-and-foam bodied AirPod can carry three people and is about 2 meters (6 feet) long and weighs roughly 220 kilos (450 pounds). The AirPod has a very small turning circle and is driven with one hand using a joystick system. Its air tank holds 175 liters of compressed air, which can be filled to 350 bar (5,076 psi) in as little as 90 seconds. That’s enough to give the AirPod a range of over 200 km (135 miles) and a top speed of almost 70 km an hour (43 mph).
The vehicles will be tested by Air France-KLM at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris and Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. The carriers will use seven of the vehicles to transport passengers and light cargo at the airports. The AirPods slated for airport duty will be the first operational version of the concept in use. Two AirPods will perform tests for a minimum period of three months in the premises of KLM Egineering & Maintenance. One AirPod is adapted to transport parts and maintenance equipment and the other the transport of persons. The purpose of the use of AirPod is to reduce CO2 emissions on a portion of the distribution chain for which KLM is currently using traditional cars and trucks that run on diesel. Air France Industries is still waiting for the official document of approval to begin testing the AirPod.