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Greater Toronto Airport Authority Puts in Place New Green Initiatives

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The Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA), the body that owns and runs the Pearson airport, has formulated a new plan with an objective to reduce their carbon footprint to become carbon neutral. The GTAA has an active Environment department that monitors air, water and noise quality, and continues to improve the environment around Toronto Pearson through its extensive Environment Management System. They have partnered with the Corporate Social Responsibility division, other employees and the community to find creative solutions for ongoing environmental initiatives.

The program is named 20/2020, and it aims at reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to 20 per cent lower than 2006 levels by 2020. They’re switching off lights, and doing a test of geothermal heating on one of their fire halls next year.

And their new fire-training building is designated LEED Silver, which is considered as one of the highest eco-friendly ratings there, says this report. They also points at the practical, low-tech, common-sense things they do in relation to the dirty, dirty planes themselves.

Cathay Pacific, China’s largest international airline was doing its crew checks after pushing off from the gate with their engines running. GTAA monitored this and told the Chinese airline to do that at the gate, and they agreed.

GTAA also supply the three things every aircraft needs when they’re docked at their gate namely conditioned air, potable water and power and thereby obviating the need for the planes to use their own fuel-powered generators, as they will at many other airports.

They’ve also instituted an exception to the Transport Canada rule that Pearson planes must get to an altitude of 3,600 feet before they can make any turns.

The rule’s in place because turning a jet can be very noisy. But these days, they instruct the props to turn at 500 feet so they can get them on their way faster, saving fuel, and out of the way of the hungrier jets idling on the runway, also saving fuel.

The authority is also interested in following the continuous descent or green landings. It is already been practiced in 33 European airports. It can save as much as 300 kilograms of carbon emissions and it is quieter too.

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