Salvador Bahia Airport expands water reuse by drawing the resource from air-conditioning machines

Salvador Bahia Airport expands water reuse by drawing the resource from air-conditioning machines

The system will drive savings of 15,768 m³ per year

As part of the requalification works, Salvador Bahia Airport – member of the VINCI Airports network – is furthering its environmental commitment and has entirely renewed its refrigeration system. The result is noticeable for those who pass through the terminal, but what many do not know is that in addition to a more pleasant temperature, the airport's air conditioning system is now more sustainable. Not only is it more energy-efficient, but it also has a structure that allows for the capture and reuse of water that would be discarded in the process. Thanks to the implementation of the new structure, 15,768 m³ of this natural resource will be reused within one year.

The water is reused in the twenty air conditioning machines to cool the air extracted from the environment. It is captured and stored in tanks with a capacity of 5,400L each and destined to supply the airport's cooling towers. Thus, the water that would be discarded is reinserted into the system, in compliance with the concept of circular economy.

Global Strategy

The initiative is one of the many actions undertaken by Salvador Bahia Airport to reduce its water consumption by half (when compared to 2015) by the year 2030. This is one of the ambitious goals of AirPact, VINCI Airport’s global strategy – a group of which the Bahian airport is a member of – to reduce its environmental impact in all twelve countries in which it operates. In addition, it is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Sustainable Development.

In order to reduce water consumption, several investments have been made since the beginning of the Concession, in 2018. Efforts, which involve technology and innovation, have been bearing fruit. For example, Salvador Bahia Airport was the first in Brazil to not dispense effluents into hydric bodies. Currently, 100% of the effluents generated at the airport is treated at the Effluent Treatment Station (ETE) and transformed into water for reuse. The final product is intended to supply passenger terminal restrooms and in the future will be also used in cooling towers, thus reducing 37% of the airport's need for drinking water.

Still with the same objective, the airport taps have received aerating nozzles, which reduce the flow without affecting the user's perception. Equipment has also been installed to contain and mitigate possible leaks of oil or fuel contaminants that could affect the drainage channels.

Despite these achievements, the effort to reduce water consumption at Salvador Bahia Airport is ongoing. Other initiatives are being implemented, such as the adoption of water reuse in the Fire Fighting Section (SCI). The entire volume of water used during the mandatory fire-fighting tests will be reused to replenish the trucks – 543m³ per year, on average. The forecast is that the project will be 100% implemented by May. The in-house team also continues to look for new water-saving opportunities.

Air Pact

The actions are based on the global environmental policy of VINCI Airports, Air Pact, which establishes ambitious sustainability goals for its airports based on its commitment to environmental preservation. In addition to the goal of reducing water consumption, the policy also envisages: not dispensing solid waste into landfills (a goal that has already been met by Salvador Bahia Airport); to eliminate the use of pesticides and reduce the carbon footprint by half. In order to meet the later goal, Salvador Airport has already replaced conventional lamps with LED ones, installed a solar plant (the first in Brazil at an aerodrome) and replaced the refrigeration equipment with more efficient ones, achieving level 2 ACA (Airport Carbon Accreditation) certification in 2019.

About Salvador Bahia Airport

Located in Salvador, capital of Bahia and the first Brazilian capital, Salvador Bahia Airport has been part of the VINCI Airports network since January 2, 2018 through a 30-year Concession Contract. Since then, the airport has incorporated global operating standards, seeking to deliver more efficiency, safety and a better travel experience for its passengers. With this objective, works were carried out to modernize and expand the passenger terminal, an investment of R $ 700 million that increased its capacity by 50%, from 10 million to 15 million passengers per year.

Named as the "Most Sustainable Aerodrome in Brazil", Salvador Bahia Airport stands out for its pioneering spirit in environmental preservation actions. Guided by Air Pact, VINCI Airports' global strategy, the airport was the first in Brazil to reuse 100% of the water consumed, not to dispense solid waste for landfills and to have a solar plant – with 4.2 MW of power. The airport's actions to reduce carbon emissions led it to receive the Carbon Accreditation Certification (ACA Certification) by the International Airport Council (ACI). More information can be found on the website or on the social networks @salvadorbahiaairport.

About VINCI Airports

VINCI Airports, the leading private airport operator in the world, manages 45 airports in12 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. We harness our expertise a comprehensive integrator to develop, finance, build and operate airports, while leveraging our investment capability and expertise in optimising operational performance, modernising infrastructure and driving environmental transition. VINCI Airports became the first airport operator to start rolling out an international environmental strategy, in 2016, with a view to achieving net zero emissions throughout its network by 2050.