Bordeaux Airport looks to the future

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2022 is a transitional year for Bordeaux Airport; an opportunity to reinvent the airport model and outline a new eco-friendly vision.

2022 is a transitional year for Bordeaux Airport; an opportunity to reinvent the airport model and outline a new eco-friendly vision in its long-term roadmap, in line with the objectives of Bordeaux Metropole and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. The General Development Scheme must convey this vision of ‘the airport of the future.

2022 - Further transformation

In order to take up these challenges, the process of reinventing the environmentally-friendly airport is already underway. Over the past two years, the Airport Management Company has invested over €8 million to accelerate the ecological transition of its platform, and in particular to reduce CO2 emissions. The objective is to massively reduce the carbon footprint of the airport’s infrastructure, and offset the remainder in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
With 80% of its CO2 emissions coming from heating and electricity, the airport is pursuing the necessary adaptation by supporting its energy transition in 2022: 

  • Installation of 3,000m2 of photovoltaic panels on the P0 car park, enabling a 4% reduction in C02 emissions, and a study of its implementation on the P4 car park in order to make the buildings self-sufficient in energy.
  • Launch of an energy metering plan to reduce the energy consumption of buildings controlled by this tool by 5% to 10%. First phase of the project applied in Hall A in 2022.
  • Replacement of the entire 1,750m2 surface of glass facades in Hall B, on both the airside and landside, with the aim of improving thermal performance, among other things. €3M invested
  • Ongoing geothermal pumping study to replace the use of natural gas: 50% reduction in gas consumption 
  • Replacement of the transport fleet with electric or hybrid vehicles. The airport is going to acquire its first 100% electric passenger bus - a €450,000 investment.

“Air transport is currently facing an environmental challenge that requires it to reinvent itself. The necessary adaptation of our model requires significant human, technical, and financial resources that we are in the process of implementing.  Our new innovation department and our reflections on the airport’s development accompany these challenges”, says Simon Dreschel, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport Management Company.

General Development Scheme, a strategy built with the local territory

Bordeaux Airport is working on the future of the airport platform. At the request of the Minister for Civil Aviation, the airport company is developing the General Development Scheme it will be asked to submit according to five strategic guidelines: optimisation of existing infrastructure, medium and long-term development capacities, improved access by land transport, property improvement and sustainable development. 

The Development Scheme is a forward-looking approach and will be reviewed every 5 years. This plan makes it possible to project the sizing assumptions of the airport, in line with the objectives of the local territory, Bordeaux Metropole and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. The exercise aims to envision the infrastructure of tomorrow, adapted to trends in air traffic and for the benefit of the local territory. 

The inclusion of a hydrogen station, take-off areas for vertical take-off electric aircraft, and the production of photovoltaic energy have been all considered. In terms of energy, the airport launched a call for expressions of interest from fuel producers and manufacturers in March in order to supply biofuels to the airport platform. With the help of experts, Bordeaux Airport carried out multi-criteria analyses for the various development scenarios for the airport. This approach was also applied to the scenario of maintaining or closing the secondary runway. 

The occurrence of significant safety events related to the intersecting runways, such as runway incursions (1), have been the subject of in-depth analysis. Aside from the continuous improvement of safety, maintenance issues and the costs of bringing the secondary runway up to European standards have also been analysed. 

The environmental aspects aimed at avoiding soil sealing and its impact on the water cycle have been major concerns in terms of development. Reusing surfaces that have already been waterproofed can avoid sealing an area of up to 17,200 m².

Limiting the noise pollution of activities is also a major focus of Bordeaux Airport’s project. The Airport is committed to a global plan to reduce noise pollution, and participated in the development of the Environmental Noise Prevention Plan (PPBE) with the relevant State services, the Air Traffic Control Service and the Civil Aviation Safety Directorate. The airport is thus committed to offering tariff modulation to encourage less noisy aircraft, working on its infrastructure to improve take-off performance, and improving communication with local residents via its Internet-based trajectory and noise monitoring system, Aérovision

(1) Wrongful presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person in the protected area of a surface intended for the landing and take-off of aircraft