Panglao airport touted as model for eco-technology

By Minerva Newsman

TAGBILARAN CITY – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has declared the New Bohol Panglao Airport (NBPA) as a model for eco-technology in building airports in the country.

New Bohol Panglao Airport (DOTr / MANILA BULLETIN) New Bohol Panglao Airport (DOTr / MANILA BULLETIN)

Airport General Manager Rafael Tatlonghari told media here last week that Panglao airport is the country’s first eco-airport that uses Japanese and international technologies that comply with local environmental regulations.

The eco-technologies include the installation of solar panels on the roof of the Passenger Terminal Building to supply an estimated at 624,539 kWh per year.

The power supplies nearly 15 percent of the power requirements for the terminal building, Tatlonghari said.

“With the rising prices of fossil fuels the option for clean and renewable power generation system provided by solar is our closest option,” he said.

To maximize solar power, the airport uses Light Emitting Diodes (LED) lights, which consumes 10 to 15 percent of the type of conventional lights and last longer.

LED lights are used not only in the facility’s interior but also in the terminal’s access roads and car park.

The solar water heaters transfer heat absorbed from the sun by the solar collectors to the water storage tank for the hot water requirements of the facility’s kitchens, showers and lavatories’ vanity basins, Tatlonghari said.

The pre-departure lounges use natural ventilation, while its walls have wooden louvers and curtain wall glazing with low emissivity (LowE) coating to reduce heat gain and minimize the energy consumption of air conditioning systems.

In his presentation a copy of which was given to Manila Bulletin, Tatlonghari went said the airport is also equipped with a modern sewage treatment facility compliant with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) standards for water quality and general effluent.

“It is an engineered wetland that uses natural vegetation, soil, and organisms to treat wastewater and remove pollutants, this is unique,” Tatlonghari said.

Processed wastewater is bled to the soaking yard and after evaporation, the treated sludge can be used as fertilizer for the landscaping inside the airport.

While the facility has a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment, it also has a material recovery facility (MRF) to minimize airport-generated wastes.

Panglao airport has contracted special treatment companies to transport and treat hazardous wastes.

The airport also incorporated in its design a rainwater harvesting facility to reduce the load on the drainage system. The collected water can be used to water trees in the airport.

Tatlonghari also shared that landscaping the airport’s surroundings is to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHGs) emission and it includes the planting of 1,700 trees at the main entrance, carpark, and access road and 240,000 pieces of shrubs and ground cover and 11-hectares of sodding.

The airport also implemented compensatory reforestation, with 624,100 seedlings being planted across Bohol Island to compensate for the cut trees at the project site.