Sustainable Airport


Lanzarote is today the best example of the integration of nature with the actions of man. Tourism is its main source of wealth, but development has not been at the price of its values and environmental diversity; it has been aimed at quality and sustainability. In this marvellous environment, air transport is of prime importance. Aena wants to participate in that model of harmonious unity and it has chosen César Manrique-Lanzarote to set its Sustainable Airport project in motion.

Areas of action

A Sustainable Airport is one where management and operations prioritise sustainability with the use of new technologies and procedures. Its main characteristics are:

  • Energy efficiency.
  • Use of renewable energy.
  • Reasonable use of water and other natural resources.
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GG).
  • Efficient solid waste management and recycling.
  • Use of environmental best practices and standards.
  • Use of procedures to optimise operations.
  • Initiating new projects to minimise environmental impact.
  • Compliance with current legislation.

The "Sustainable Airport" project has identified several areas for action where work can be done to improve energy consumption and emissions.

The most relevant areas are:

  1. Heating, cooling and ventilation
  2. Lighting
  3. Transport and access
  4. Water consumption and sanitation
  5. Aircraft movement
  6. Generating renewable energy

Once the areas for action were established, a set of objectives were defined:

  • Exploring the various technological advances aimed at improving energy efficiency.
  • Reducing consumption, encouraging the production of energy from renewable sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GG).
  • Evaluating the viability, effectiveness and profitability of these technologies and of new operating procedures associated with them.
  • Checking that the use of these different procedures ensures airport operability and security.
  • Promoting collaboration in developing and implementing these technologies with airport operators, concession holders and manufacturers.
  • Establishing standards and best practices to be applied in all the airports in the network.

Improvement projects

Various projects have been defined for each area of action, intended to improve energy efficiency, encourage the production of renewable energy and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GG) emissions. The most noteworthy are:


  1. Heating, cooling and ventilation:
    • Improving thermal insulation of the terminal to avoid energy losses (insulating panels, cladding the facade, insulating paint, etc.).
    • Producing shade in summer and sunshine in winter.
    • Geothermal heating and cooling system using underground temperatures.
    • Smart controls of temperature and humidity.
    • Cooling systems which facilitate ventilation, lowering high temperatures in summer and facilitating the flow of heating in winter.
  2. Lighting:
    • Replacing the present lighting with compact fluorescents and LEDs.
    • Encouraging the use of spaces with natural light.
    • Efficient control of lighting and heating with motion detectors and preset comfort parameters.
  3. Transport and access:
    • More efficient use of cars by implementing and promoting the use of electric vehicles and car-pooling for airport employees (computer system based on knowledge of the places available in privately owned vehicles, schedules, departure times, destinations and routes).
    • Encouraging the use of electric taxis and LNG (liquefied natural gas) run buses.
    • Pedestrian paths and lanes for bicycles and electric bikes.
  4. Water consumption and sanitation:
    • Control of water consumption.
    • Ecological irrigation.
    • Waste treatment and management.
  5. Aircraft movement:
    • Optimisation of lighting on apron and taxiways.
    • Ground movements of aircraft with a single motor and reducing length of routes.
    • Optimisation of assigning boarding gates.
    • Construction of an underground tunnel system with retractable equipment supplying ground support services to aircraft. After providing the service, the equipment is retracted and is totally concealed at the level of the apron.
    • Replacing conventional vehicles with electric ones.
  6. Generating renewable energy
    • Solar thermal panels for obtaining domestic hot water.
    • Use of biomass, cogeneration plants and photovoltaic panels for generating energy.
    • Viability study of the use of wind and solar thermal energy.