Environmental Management

The Airport Authority strives for continual improvement in the following program areas:

Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainable Building Design

The Airport Authority’s sustainable design guidelines are used to ensure all new facilities incorporate energy efficiency, water efficiency and environmental management into building design.  In 2012, all 152 facility permit applications received were reviewed by the Environment Department for environmental issues.

Hazardous Materials

The Airport Authority maintains a Hazardous Materials Management Program that aims to reduce and control the use of dangerous goods at YVR. Two fuel spills of amounts greater than 100 litres occurred in 2012; in both cases, spills were contained and cleaned up before reaching drains, ditches, waterways or sensitive habitat.

Water Quality 

As part of our ongoing water quality assessment, we sample airport water to monitor for total suspended solids and turbidity in runoff from construction sites, groundwater cooling system outfall and to ensure the successful containment of de-icing fluid. In 2012, Airport Authority technicians collected 450 water samples, of which 220 were checked specifically for de-icing fluid containment. Only one sample exceeded the Canadian Glycol Guideline limit of 100 parts per million.

Wildlife Management and Natural Habitat

Our wildlife management program has four components: habitat management, monitoring, movement of birds through harassment techniques and, where there is a safety risk to aviation, killing of birds. In 2012, 377 birds were killed in 238 bird-strikes with aircraft. Bird strikes pose a significant safety risk to passengers. In order to prevent bird strikes, approximately 704,000 birds were moved away from aircraft operating areas using pyrotechnics, sirens, lights, propane cannons and specially trained border collies, falcons and hawks. While habitat management and harassment techniques are our primary tools, killing occurs when wildlife behavior is perceived to be a safety risk. This may consist of an immediate risk to an approaching aircraft, or a potential or chronic risk that has increased to unacceptable levels. In 2012, 564 birds were killed by control officers.

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