CAAP piloting Mindanao for ‘green airport projects’

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/07 July) — The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has revealed plans to start implementing plans in Mindanao that will push for the agency’s “green airport projects”.

CAAP chief William Hotchkiss said the plans and ongoing projects would combine sustainable green solutions towards eco-friendly airports.

“We are now working on incorporating sustainable eco solutions towards the needs of our airports. We are going to put up water systems both for the use of passengers and fire trucks. We will have to use deep well system but we will augment it with a rain in catchment system so we can recycle rainwater,” said Hotchkiss.

“Right now we have already piloted the project in Butuan City and we will also put one Siargao,” he added.

Hotchkiss, a former air force chief, explained that since he took over as CAAP’s head it has always been his priority to push for a green advocacy.

“Aside from the ongoing water catchment projects, we are now looking on a study in the use of solar energy in our airports. Our plan is to pilot it in a chosen airport in Mindanao, and then see how far we can go from there. If you’ve seen the airports in Mindanao, we have large empty space in the runway. We are talking of leasing 50 hectares and put solar panels in those empty spaces,” said the CAAP chief.

Hotchkiss further explained that with the solar power in place the airport will be a sustainable source of energy and would be able to help in Mindanao’s power needs.

“If the project would be successful, excess electricity can be channel back to the Mindanao Grid providing additional generation of electricity to the existing power problems of the island. If our Solar Energy pilot will become successful, then we can replicate it nationwide,” he said.

Hotchkiss said the plans will definitely help in the existing problems faced in maintaining the airports.

“Definitely rainwater catchment will be there continuously. For a lot of our terminals, rainwater gives us a problem on where to put it. With the rain catchment in place we not only solve the problem but utilize nature gift as well. The plan to have solar power generation in our airports is still under study but definitely it is very feasible,” he said. (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)