We sat down with Vivekanandhan Sindhamani, Leading professional in Sustainable Aviation at NACO, to discuss the importance of climate resilience to futureproof airport operations and infrastructure:
Why is it important for airports to increase climate resilience?
Climate resilience is important because it impacts every other aspect of airport operations. The frequency and intensity of the extreme weather events are expected to increase and with this the flight delays, cancellations, and inconvenience to passengers and staff increase as well. This translates to the loss of both aero and non-aero revenues for airports. The results of the latest IPCC reports show the severity and increasing rate of climate change.
One of our recent projects in Kansai, Japan showcased just what can happen when the airport was impacted by an extreme event. The project shows what it requires to recover and be climate resilient in the future.
All of this may seem obvious, but airports have a long list of priorities. Their day-to-day operations require seamless cooperation and coordination with third parties such as airlines, ground handlers, cargo forwarders, and more to move hundreds of thousands of passengers around the world.
That means their attention is divided – and when climate resilience is a blind spot for many in the sector – it can slip down the priorities list, despite its importance and relevance at the early-stage adoption. For instance, upfront climate resilience investment is practically more cost-effective compared to investing to rebuild or repair the damage.