The aviation industry today produces many emissions, which will be eliminated in the future with the help of new technologies, but actions must start today. Although emissions from airport operations are a minor part of the whole, compared to emissions from the airlines, we are still talking about a substantial factor. The saying ”Little strokes fell great oaks” creates a framework for actions. Airport sustainability is about environmental protection and conservation of natural resources while enabling profitable businesses and meeting customers’ needs.
Airfield Ground Lighting is responsible for a few percent of total energy consumption at the airport. So one could ask “is it a big deal?”. We believe it is! Energy efficiency delivers several environmental benefits and is a step towards behavioral change to improve sustainability. Even though the number of AGL projects temporarily decreased during the pandemic, most airports are predicted to switch to LED technology in the next few years. Some studies indicate that LED technology would reach a share of 80% by 2031. Part of the growth consists of a growing airport network and part of the renovation projects from halogen to LED technology, the latter being accelerated by rising energy prices and changes in regulations, enabling innovations.
Innovations are needed, and companies are striving for active development throughout the industry. Implementing new innovations in a strictly regulated sector takes years, fortunately there are already solutions on the market supporting sustainable development. So why not start environmental actions where they can already be implemented?
Sustainability for retrofits and newbuilds
ELLEGO ELLED is a novel LED technology for Airfield Ground Lighting and is suitable for both retrofit and greenfield installations. The retrofit concept brings circular economy to the AGL sector and enables the reuse of existing halogen fixtures, cables, and transformers, replacing only the halogen bulbs and CCRs. Reusing material is an important way to mitigate the impact of growth. On the other hand, green fields enable lighting, infrastructure design, and cost optimization under low current LED technology conditions. In practice, ELLED technology provides driverless LED lights taking operational reliability and maintainability to a whole new level and cutting your energy consumption by more than 90%. This can mean annual savings of thousands of euros for small airports. We can talk about tens of thousands for larger airports, which, together with the increasing energy price, means a remarkably low investment payback period.
It is time to start preparations for sustainable AGL infrastructure implementations to save money, energy, and the environment.