Shannon Airport recognises its responsibility to minimise the impact of the
airport’s operations on the local environment by means of a programme of
The Safety & Environmental Department manages the environmental programme
at Shannon Airport and its role is dedicated to effective management and
improvement in many areas including:
- Waste Water treatment & monitoring
- Air Quality monitoring
- Surface Water quality monitoring
- Drinking water quality monitoring
- Noise management
- Effective waste management & recycling initiatives
- Energy consumption
- Airport landscape and ecology
- Community relations
Waste Water Treatment & Monitoring
The airport waste water treatment plant became fully operational in March
2007 and is designed for a population equivalent of 5,000. It encompasses
primary, secondary and tertiary treatment elements in order to remove physical
and chemical components from the waste water before the final treated effluent
stream is released into the Shannon Estuary.
The plant is operated and maintained by Response Group on behalf of the
airport authority and is charged with operating all elements of the plant
including the environmental monitoring programme. Samples are taken
monthly and tested for Ph, BOD, COD, Total Nitrogen, Ammonia, Total Phosphates
and Suspended solids. Tests for Residual Chlorine, Sulphates and Oils/Fats
and Greases are also carried out.
The discharging of treated wastewater to waters is licensed by Clare County
Council and Shannon Airport holds a current discharge licence as required under
the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977 and 1990. The wastewater
discharged must meet certain minimum standards as outlined in the conditions of
Air Quality Monitoring
The quality of air at the airport is monitored at 6 monthly intervals in
three strategic locations over continuous 10-day periods. The monitoring
programme collects a range of data for a number of prescribed parameters, which
are then compiled in a detailed report for review by the Safety & Environmental Department.
Surface Water Quality Monitoring
This monitoring programme involves the monitoring of the quality of airport
surface water at eleven designated locations around the airport facility
including airside and landside.
Samples are collected on a monthly basis and are submitted to an accredited
independent laboratory. Surface water is analysed for the following parameters:
- Biochemical Oxygen demand.
- Chemical Oxygen demand.
- Total Suspended solids.
- Total nitrogen.
- Dissolved Phosphorus.
- Total hydrocarbons.
Accredited laboratories test all water samples and results and reports are
submitted to the Safety & Environmental Dept. for review.
Drinking Water Quality Monitoring
This monitoring programme includes the monitoring of the quality of the raw
water supply to the airport treatment plant from Rosroe Lough and the quality of
the potable drinking water to the airport from the airport treatment plant at
The quality of the raw water is analysed monthly while the drinking water
supply to the airport is analysed every second month.
Both the raw water and treated water are analysed for a number of parameters
pH, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals.
Accredited laboratories test all water samples and results are submitted to
the Safety & Environmental Dept. for review and comment.
Shannon Airport is committed to the minimisation of noise disturbance
to the local community in the vicinity of the airport.
As the Airport Authority we must ensures that at all times, aircraft
operators operate aircraft in a manner calculated to cause the least disturbance
practicable in areas surrounding Shannon Airport.
Noise level monitoring on the apron/ramp area is undertaken periodically as
part of this management strategy.
Effective Waste Management & Recycling Initiatives
Shannon Airport’s waste management policy involves effective management of a
number of waste streams including in-flight catering waste, recyclables and
Some of the more notable recycling initiatives include
the recycling of office paper, inkjet/laser cartridges and batteries.
The running and operation of Shannon Airport requires a
large energy input. Since the use of energy is an important environmental
issue, we keep energy consumption as low as possible through the use of energy
saving equipment and technology and through the education and training of staff
working at the airport.
Airport Landscape & Ecology
We believe in providing as attractive an airport landscape as
possible, which is also consistent with airport security and operational
requirements. This commitment to landscape enhancement together with caring for
the local ecology, will continue during all future development of the
We continue to listen to local concerns and strive to be
responsive to community concerns in relation to environmental
Airport Carbon Accreditation
During 2011, Shannon Airport successfully renewed the ‘Mapping’ status accreditation under the Airport Council International (ACI) – Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.
Airport Carbon Accreditation is the European standard for carbon management and emission reductions at airports. This certification programme, specifically designed for airports, has received widespread support and endorsements from both the EU and the UN Environment Programme. Launched in June 2009, the programme has four levels of accreditation: mapping, reduction, optimisation and neutrality.
This award is a significant milestone in the advancement of the company’s overall Sustainability strategy as it involved calculating the carbon footprint of Shannon Airport using ACI Europe’s internationally recognised methodology and independent verification.
Shannon Airport’s accreditation at ‘Mapping’ level means that the Airport has committed to continually ‘Mapping’ all of the carbon emissions under its direct control. Our involvement in the programme assisted in identifying opportunities and measures to reduce overall carbon emissions into the future. Shannon Airport is currently working diligently on progressing to the next level – ‘Reduction’.
At present, there are 55 airports in Europe (+ 1 in Asia Pacific) which are Airport Carbon Accredited at various levels of the programme. Airports accredited to date handle more than 52% of European passenger traffic each year and since its launch in June 2009.
To find out more, go to www.airportcarbonaccreditation.org