The Galapagos Islands is one of the most environmentally-friendly regions in the world. The Islands are home to an ecological airport, which has been dubbed as the first green airport in the world. Coming in an era when the world is under threat from climate change, and with airports being one of the largest contributors to the global carbon emission, the ecological airport has helped to conserve the environment maintaining the natural surroundings.
Galapagos Ecological airport, formerly known as the Seymour Airport was built in 2012 in the Galapagos Islands, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The airport makes use of renewable energy, being powered by both solar and wind energy.
In addition to the renewable energy sources, it was also constructed using recycled materials (80%) from the old airport buildings. The airport also helps to conserve the environment by recycling water. Its water supply comes from a desalination plant, which converts the local seawater into fresh water.
Another great green feature of the airport is the shutters, which open and close depending on the heat and carbon II oxide levels. This helps to conserve the energy, while at the same time, reducing the amount of carbon emission. The airport also features several endemic plants, which grow around the entrance of the building.
The Galapagos Ecological Airport has received recognition all over the world for its environmentally-friendly initiative. The project was awarded the prestigious Gold Certificate in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system due to sustainable construction. It is the first airport in the world to receive the recognition due to a complete construction.
The airport is also seeking to earn other awards and recognition for their efforts in conserving the environment. Some of the recognitions they are targeting includes certifications for Green Operation and Maintenance and Reduction of Carbon Footprint.
While the airport has made huge achievements in conserving the environment, the construction was not easy. To start with, most of the construction had to be conducted on the mainland, since the islands are a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, the project required training engineers and architects so as to impart them with the expertise required for ecological construction.
The ecological airport has since become a major tourist attraction, luring tourists from all over the world who come to see the wonder of a full sustainable green airport. The airport has also increased the significance of the Galapagos Islands as a bio-diverse tourist destination. According to the creators of the project, the airport will appeal to a lot of eco-tourists, who visit the islands to experience the ecological adventure of the region.
One of the major achievements of the Galapagos Ecological Airport is that it has set an example for other airports all over the world. As a result of the project, other airports across the world are now taking a more "greener" approach in their operations. Already, plans for construction of a new ecological airport in the Philippines are underway. The new airport will make use of solar energy to power lights and air conditioning. The Mexico City International Airport is also expected to be redesigned, with the people in charge of the project hoping it will become the most sustainable airport in the world.