UK’s First Airport Willow Farm

East Midlands Airport is setting a green trend with the launch of the UK’s first airport willow farm. Managing Director, Penny Coates and Director of Sustainability, Neil Robinson were today (Wednesday 24th March 2010) on-site at the farm to plant the first cuttings.

The willow farm will span over 26 hectares with the total area planned to be covered by 2013. The cuttings will be planted in three phases to ensure a continual crop of willow and will produce fuel for a bio-mass boiler, which will be situated in the terminal building by 2012. The boiler will provide heating and cooling for the terminal building and will save an annual total of 460 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Neil Robinson, Director of Sustainability, East Midlands Airport, said: “This is a landmark day for East Midlands Airport and we are delighted that the willow farm is now in harvest and that we are the first UK airport to achieve this.”

The farm is located north of the runway on existing land owned by the airport. The launch of the willow farm is the latest in a line of environmental achievements; including, the first UK airport to commit to making its ground operations carbon neutral by 2012, the first UK airport to receive planning permission for four on-site wind turbines, the first European airport to offer WebTrak, an online facility to view aircraft operation in the airports airspace and the only UK airport to successfully retain ISO14001 for the past 7 years. Most recently in a world first, the airport launched a trial to run an airport passenger transfer bus powered by Liquid Biomethane fuel (LBM), a carbon neutral fuel.

Neil Robinson continued: “We believe we are leading the way for airports and this is the first step of an ongoing process that will take approximately five years to complete. The bio-mass boiler will be installed by 2012, which will contribute to the commitment made in 2006, for our ground operations to be carbon neutral by 2012. The willow farm is one in a long line of projects that will provide energy for our on-site buildings and will help us to be sustainable for the future.”

Published on: 24/03/2010 15:47:28

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