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Located between the neighbouring regions of Cabatuan and Santa Barbara in the Western Visayas, the Iloilo International Airport serves as the main hub for both domestic and international tourists looking for a beach getaway or an islandhopping weekend.

‘The Iloilo International Airport has much better equipment and facilities than the older airport’, Acting Airport Manager of Iloilo Airport, Manuela Luisa Palma said. ‘It also allows us to have more flights and increase the number of passengers’.

In 2020, the Iloilo International Airport was chosen to be the first airport in the Philippines to integrate a certified Environmental Management Systems (EMS) into their operational systems. The EMS provides a methodology to identify and manage the environmental aspects of airport operations and reduces its impacts on climate change.

Supported by the EU through the ARISE+ Civil Aviation project, ‘We reviewed our existing process flows and aligned it with EMS requirements to minimise the environmental impacts of our infrastructure and operations’, Palma said. This includes reviewing the airport’s waste management system and requiring concessionaires to adopt environmentally friendly practices.

ARISE+ Civil Aviation Project aims to enhance connectivity and sectoral cooperation in transport in the ASEAN region. In supporting the ASEAN single market, the project works with ASEAN Member States to strengthen their capacity to meet International Civil Aviation Organisation standards and recommended practices, including ensuring environmental protection.

Through a series of trainings provided by the project, the Iloilo International Airport has developed its own EMS and manual to document their processes and action plans.

‘We have managed to significantly increase our level of waste management and segregated our solid waste at source’, Palma said.

Upon the successful implementation of the EMS, Palma is looking forward to the certification of Iloilo Airport at the beginning of 2022, ‘I am proud to see how much we have learned and improved, especially with the constraints of the pandemic’.

The EMS is currently also in the early stages of implementation in the Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. Surrounded by UNESCO sites, implementation of EMS in Luang Prabang is more than tackling environmental issues but also about respecting its surrounding heritage.

The EMS is also being implemented in Thailand, supported by the EU-Southeast Asian Aviation © Ilo ilo Airport Partnership Project (EU-SEA APP)

The EMS is also being implemented in Thailand, supported by the EU-Southeast Asian Aviation © Ilo ilo Airport Partnership Project (EU-SEA APP)

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