Comment on the deficiency of "Type IV Airport Construction Guidelines": Green Airports Shall Ensure Biodiversity Friendly
2021/11/18 16:34:00 本站

On September 25, 2019, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China personally attended the opening ceremony of Beijing Daxing International Airport and gave important instructions to civil aviation work, requesting the construction of a four-type airport with "safety, green, wisdom, and humanity" as the core. In the fall of 2020, the Civil Aviation Department issued the "Guidelines for the Construction of Type Four Airports."

In the guidelines, the definition of "green airport" is very narrow: "Green Airport (Green Airport) refers to the realization of resource intensive conservation, low-carbon operation, environmentally friendly airport throughout the life cycle."

In this regard, the author does not agree.

First of all, this "Type 4 Airport Construction Guidelines" was originally developed without the participation of public interest representatives.

In fact, "green" should not be understood in a narrow sense. Green is an ecosystem, not just the planting of green plants.

A research report estimated based on 2016 data: there were 210 airports in operation in mainland China by the end of 2015 (Civil Aviation Administration of China, 2016 data), and based on the runway length of 1,500 meters for 3C airports in small and medium-sized cities, and each bird net is 30 meters long, 100 nets will be deployed in one airport. Assuming that each net catches and kills 1 bird per day, a conservative estimate of 7,665,000 birds would be killed by our airport bird nets in 365 days a year.

So, how much invisible damage is done? One owl, on average, hunts 600 voles in the wild each year, which can "take food from the mouths of mice" for one ton of food for humans. The lack of biodiversity considerations in the aviation sector leads to an incalculable loss of ecosystem services.

To ensure aviation safety, must we put up huge bird nets and kill all the birds? This is not the preferred approach. In fact, there are many environmentally friendly practices that have been developed internationally to ensure aviation safety without the need for extermination.

At present, the reporting of bird strike information at civil airports in China lacks effective regulation. Despite clear regulations from the CAAC, the percentage of species confirmation of bird strike information in China's civil aviation in 2015 was only 5.66%, according to the 2015 China Civil Aviation Bird Strike Aircraft Information Analysis Report sponsored by the Department of Airports of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

It has been a bumpy ride just to accomplish this less than 6% data percentage. Also according to this 15-year report, although the Civil Aviation Science and Technology Research Institute of China (CASTRI) has built two bird strike residue identification laboratories with two universities, yet only 43 airport units out of more than 300 general aviation airports in China are submitting reports to the two aforementioned laboratories without mentioning whether they have experience in submitting sample information to other units at the same time.

From the promulgation of the "Guidelines for the Construction of Type IV Airports", it is another document that lacks good biodiversity consideration, and it is a one-sided and superficial understanding of "green airports", failing to understand the profound ecological civilization that "mountains, water, forests, sky, lakes, grass, sand and ice are a community of life". It fails to understand the profound meaning of ecological civilization that "mountain, water, forest, sky, lake, sand and ice are a community of life.

This shows that the mainstreaming of biodiversity should also be carried out in the aviation sector.

Please take into account the views of the representatives of public interest in the formulation of standards.


Original Chinese article:

Translator/ Lucy