The environmental management system at New York’s Westchester County Airport (HPN) in White Plains has become the third such airport entity in the U.S. to win ISO14001 approval. The internationally recognized standard is among the toughest in the world, and airport management has committed significant time and resources to gaining the recognition. Westchester County owns and operates the airport, and county executive Andy Spano said, “This is more than just talk. To become ISO14001 certified, we worked for three years to develop a system that would measure the environmental activities at the airport of all tenants, permittees, contractors, vendors and eight county departments that have any airport responsibilities. This process involved hundreds of people.” The environmental standards are developed under the auspices of the International Organization for Standardization, Geneva.
HPN’s Airport Environmental Management System (AEMS) covers a lot of territory. Spano said, “Through the AEMS, the airport is implementing many programs to protect the environment. But my administration will continue to do more.” Programs at the airport include protecting Rye Lake and Blind Brook by preventing spills and monitoring storm water and groundwater quality; installing spill and runoff protection filters on storm drains; implementing an airport-wide spill-prevention plan; protecting the airport’s wetlands; remediating historic spill sites; implementing better ways to capture deicing fluid; improving the airport recycling program; monitoring compliance with the airport voluntary restraint-from-flying program; improving noise-monitoring and noise-reduction programs; implementing a material-management program; and ensuring proper disposal of waste.