Emissions from flight operations, especially during landing and take-off, can affect local air quality. The Hong Kong SAR Government's air pollutant emission inventory shows that aviation contributed 6% of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 3% of carbon monoxide (CO) and 2% of other air pollutants to local levels of air emissions in Hong Kong.
We can assist in improving air quality by maintaining and operating our fleet to the highest standards. We follow an integrated approach to emissions reduction and many of the initiatives that reduce our climate change impact also serve to reduce our other emissions.
On the ground, we identified which of our inefficient vehicles can be replaced with lower emissions alternatives over time, as part of our vehicle replacement strategy. This strategy is being led by our wholly- owned subsidiary, Hong Kong Airport Services (HAS), which has the largest fleet in the Group. HAS is the largest ramp handling company in Hong Kong, serving 44 airlines. Major activities include the operation of aerobridges and passenger steps, loading and unloading of aircraft and the transportation of crew, baggage, cargo and mail. These activities rely on a fleet of 500 motorised (of which 110 are electric) and 2,200 non-motorised items of ground support equipment and over 3,000 staff. They have set a target to achieve a 5% reduction in emissions per air traffic movement (ATM) and report on their GHG emissions. The biggest contributor to their emissions is fuel use.
The replacement strategy at HAS will see all inefficient vehicles being replaced with the latest emission standards (Euro 4 and 5) by 2011. Electric or other sources of power will also be considered, if manufacturers can produce viable alternatives. At the minimum, we will replace vehicles with those meeting the latest standards.
HAS has undertaken a study on building a refuelling station to minimise travelling time and fuel used and conducted "posi-charger" trials on electric tractors; a new, fast charging machine that can reduce battery charging time from 8 to 2 hours. HAS achieved the Clean Air Charter certification for the first time and is introducing two Euro 4 buses for staff transportation between terminals and Cathay Pacific City. It plans to expand the scope of real-time task allocation GPS systems to locate equipment, saving staff time and fuel.
Cathay Pacific Catering Services (CPCS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific, is one of the largest flight kitchens in the world. It serves 34 airlines in Hong Kong and other locations. Diesel used by highloaders and boilers are the major sources of direct emissions. Currently, all the new highloaders purchased comply with the Euro 4 standard. All trucks undergo regular checks to ensure the engine is operating normally to prevent incomplete burning of fuel. Emissions from boilers are monitored via continuous emission monitors (CEMs) to ensure normal combustion. CPCS only uses ultra-low sulphur diesel.
In 2009, CPCS utilised refrigerant water heaters in the form of heat pump technology, whereby electricity is efficiently used to perform both cooling and heating functions. A steam recovery system was used to recover unused steam to preheat water to reduce diesel consumption.