Fuerteventura obtained certification of its environment management system (EMS) in December 2001, under the ISO 14001 International Standard.
With this certification, granted following an audit carried out by AENOR (Spanish Standardisation and Certification Association), Fuerteventura Airport, in keeping with Aena's environmental quality policy, demonstrates that it respects the environment and that it has assumed a firm commitment to ensure both present and future environmental quality.
Obtaining certification of the environment management system required the following preliminary steps:
- Identification and evaluation of the environmental issues generated at the airport.
- Preparation of action, follow-up and control procedures regarding the aforementioned aspects.
- Establishment of environmental objectives and control to ensure that these are met.
Action to eliminate noise
The airport runway is located to the east of the island, parallel to the north-south coastline. Nevertheless, when prolonged, the runway centre line runs through the capital Puerto del Rosario, which lies only four kilometres from the runway end.
To improve environmental quality, a standard takeoff manoeuvre is carried out on runway 01, which obliges the aircraft to turn 30º to the right upon reaching 500 feet, following takeoff. This manoeuvre has reduced the number of flights over Puerto de Rosario by sixty percent and the average noise level has dropped by forty percent.
The airport is also implementing a 400Hz system as well as installing acoustic barriers at the 01 header. Additionally, it has moved the 01 and 19 header thresholds, with a view to reducing environmental noise.
Selective waste collection
In 1999, the airport put into practice a selective system for collection of solid waste, distributing for this purpose different containers for glass, containers, paper/cardboard, plastic, batteries, cans, and organic waste.
On an island with such scarce rainfall as Fuerteventura, water is a very precious element. The airport has built a water-treatment plant to treat sea water by desalinisation through inverse osmosis, with a production capacity of two hundred cubic metres a day, which is sufficient to cover all the airport's needs. Furthermore, a drinking water reserve tank has been built with a capacity for two thousand cubic metres, sufficient to supply the airport during 20 days.
The airport has a purifier which treats one hundred percent of the sewage it produces. The purifier has a treatment plant with a forecast capacity of 275 cubic metres per day, which uses the system of aeration and decanting.
All purified water is stored and later used to water the garden areas of the grounds. Thanks to this storage it has been possible to landscape over a hundred thousand square metres of airport grounds, creating extensive green zones in which many species of local Canary Island flora have been grown.