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Theme: Design & Build
Airport profile: Prague
Special report: Kraków Airport
Plus: Sustainability & WBP news

The heat is on!

Airport World editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the summer heatwave, the importance of reducing carbon emissions and the ‘Design & Build’ theme of this issue.

Temperatures have hit record highs across Europe this summer, the almost stifling heat leading to water shortages, wildfires and, sadly, deaths as countries, existing infrastructure and people have struggled to cope with the extreme conditions.

London experienced its hottest ever day on July 19 with 40.2oC widely reported to have been recorded at Heathrow Airport, while six other European capitals reached 40 year highs – Berlin, Dublin, Ljubljana, Rome, Stockholm and Zagreb.

And Europe wasn’t alone in feeling the heat, with cities across the globe from Tunis at the tip of Africa, Abadan in Western Asia and Shanghai on the east coast of China recording temperatures of 48oC, 52.2oC and 40.9oC respectively, while heatwaves across the US meant that nearly 100 million Americans from the Northwest to the Mid-South had to live with temperatures of 38oC or above for extended periods in sweltering hot July.

Scientists believe that the soaring temperatures are the result of climate change and are warning that such extreme weather events will happen more often in the years ahead due to man’s inability to reduce CO2 emissions.

Indeed, Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College London and co-lead of the extreme weather research consortium World Weather Attribution, has gone on record as stating that July’s 40oC temperatures in London would have been 36oC without human-caused climate change.

“Every little bit of warming really makes these types of events more likely and even hotter,” she said. “Heatwaves are much more deadly than other extreme weather events like floods, and climate change is a game-changer for heatwaves.”

She added: “This is something that we humans have done [created], and we humans can adapt to a large degree and stop things from getting worse. We need to stop burning fossil fuels.”

Airports are, of course, well aware of the aviation industry’s impact on the environment and are actively working to reduce their contribution to global emissions through initiatives such as ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, the sustainable construction, development and operation of new infrastructure, and commitment to eliminating the carbon impact under their control by 2050 at the latest.

You can read more about some of the latest sustainability developments at airports across the globe in this issue, and we go into even greater depth about some of the sustainabilty challenges and opportunities ahead for airports in the ‘Sustainabilty’ themed next issue of Airport World.

The planning, design and construction of new facilities take centre stage in this ‘Design & Build’ themed edition, with features about Orlando International Airport’s new Terminal C; preparing for hydrogen fuels; US airport development; and finding ways to shorten walking distances at airports.

In addition, the themed section also has articles about the importance of identifying all existing cables before commencing expansion projects; we turn the spotlight on a handful of projects in Africa, North America and Europe; and HOK’s experts share their thoughts on how better design can maximise an airport’s return on investment (ROI).

Elsewhere in the issue, we report on customer service excellence at Kraków Airport ahead of the ACI Customer Experience Global Summit in Kraków, and hear from ACI World director general, Luis Felipe de Oliveira.

Our main interview is with Jiří Pos, chair of the board of Prague Airport, who tells us more about his airport’s future development plans and success in ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) programme.

We round out the issue with our usual ‘People matters’ column and World Business Partner (WBP) section.

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