Environmental Management System

Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) manages its environmental risks through an Environmental Management System (EMS) that meets the ISO 14001 standard. HIAA’s EMS provides tools and processes to manage our environmental responsibilities and improve performance.

Environmental Policy

HIAA’s Environmental Policy establishes the following environmental expectations:

Halifax International Airport Authority is committed to managing operations in a manner which is protective of the natural environment in which the Halifax Stanfield International Airport (HSIA) is located. HIAA will achieve this though effective and responsible management of its environmental issues.

Specifically, HIAA commits to:

  • Operating the airport in an environmentally responsible manner in compliance with applicable environmental legislation
  • Monitoring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and developing innovative reduction strategies with an overall aim of reducing GHGs
  • Requiring those conducting business at Halifax Stanfield to operate in an environmentally responsible manner
  • Conducting appropriate environmental monitoring to assess the potential for adverse environmental impacts as a result of HIAA’s activities and taking appropriate preventive and corrective measures
  • Continually improving environmental performance by establishing appropriate environmental objectives and achievable targets, implementing best management practices and cost-effective technologies, periodic reviews, and revision of objectives and targets where necessary
  • Employing a preventative approach to manage adverse environmental impacts, where feasible and practical
  • Assessing, on an annual basis, environmental performance and implementing preventative and corrective measures, where necessary
  • Educating HIAA employees and tenants on specific environmental priorities of HIAA
  • Ensuring HIAA employees receive appropriate environmental training to carry out the environmental responsibilities of their jobs

Air Quality

HIAA has implemented an Idle-Free program to encourage drivers to stop idling while at the airport. Signs at the airport have been placed in locations where drivers frequently idle, along the arrivals road and in the delivery area.

In 2012, Metro Transit implemented a commuter bus route travelling from downtown Halifax to HSIA. This has increased access to the airport, creating a greener and more convenient transportation alternative for many airport employees and travellers. The MetroX route #320 offers direct, limited-stop service 7 days a week to and from HSIA.

Environmental Assessment

HIAA assesses the potential for adverse environmental effects in advance of completing a project. In 2019, HIAA determined that its projects are not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

Green Construction

In 2010, HIAA opened the Combined Services Complex (CSC), our first Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) silver-certifiable building. In 2013, the CSC received LEED silver certification. The CSC is a state of the art, energy efficient facility that is home to the airport’s Emergency Response Services and Maintenance teams. The 6,000 square metre complex replaced the on-site fire hall, built in 1981, and the airport’s original maintenance garage, which had been in operation since 1960.

The CSC received LEED Innovation in Design credits for exceptional performance in: water use reduction, use of recycled materials and use of regional materials.

Stormwater Management

Acid Rock Run-off
HSIA was constructed in the late 1950s on pyritic slate bedrock which results in acidic run-off. To manage the acidic run-off, a facility to treat stormwater was constructed in 2002 and continues to operate today. This water treatment system significantly improves the quality of water leaving the airport.

Aircraft and Airfield Deicing
Airlines that operate during winter weather perform deicing and anti-icing of aircraft to ensure the safety of passengers and cargo operations. Aircraft de-icing fluid (glycol) is utilized to remove snow and ice and to prevent snow, frost or ice build-up on critical aircraft surfaces. To protect water quality, waste from deicing operations must be properly collected and treated. At HSIA, glycol contaminated run-off is collected and processed for on-airport re-use as aircraft de-icing fluid. Several million litres of glycol-contaminated run-off is collected and processed on an annual basis.

Airports that operate during winter weather perform deicing and anti-icing of the airfield to contribute to safe flight operations. In 2007, HIAA discontinued the use of urea as an airfield deicer to reduce the impact on the environment. A more environmentally friendly alternative, sodium formate and potassium acetate, were introduced to reduce the impact on the environment and to improve airfield deicing.

Solid Waste

HIAA is dedicated to reducing its solid waste and diverting waste materials from landfills. HIAA has worked to educate its tenants about proper separation techniques and has continually improved its waste diversion rate annually since 2007.

In 2013, RRFB Nova Scotia awarded HIAA with the annual Mobius Award of Environmental Excellence for Institution of the Year. This award recognizes HIAA as a leader for the innovate measures put in place to achieve overall waste reduction.

HIAA’s program ensures that the waste collected throughout the terminal building is properly separated and disposed of in the appropriate receptacles, while providing a behind the scenes organic program with the food concessions and cardboard disposal program.

Divided waste receptacles with separate canisters for garbage, recyclables, refundable and paper products are located throughout the terminal building. This helps to encourage all visitors, travellers and tenants to participate in the program.