Climate Change Risk Assessment at Athens International Airport
In 2018, Athens International Airport (AIA) produced its first climate change risk assessment and Climate Change Adaptation Report for two timescales, 2040 and 2070. Changes to temperature and rain patterns are expected to be the main challenges. Maximum hourly summer temperatures will increase by 1.6°C in 2040, and by 4°C in 2070, which will significantly increase the number of days with thermal discomfort and strong cooling demand. Precipitation patterns will also change. Maximum 3-day rainfall23 is expected to grow by 6% by 2040, and 20% by 2070. In addition, AIA is working with the national authorities to assess the risks to transport services to the airport, and to incorporate adaptation into future development plans.
AIA has identified a number of adaptation measures to protect outdoor employees from increased temperatures, such as increasing staffing levels to allow for shorter shifts, training in how to deal with heat during shifts, and the provision of air conditioning in public areas and airport vehicles. With regard to the projected increase in precipitation, good maintenance practices for both the drainage and fuel supply systems are considered essential. Design standards and construction practices are to be reviewed, and updated if required, for areas which may experience inundation. The risk assessment and adaptation plan is due to be reviewed every five years.
23The maximum rainfall experienced in one 3-day period in one year.
Climate adaptation at Norwegian airports
The climate in Norway is expected to become warmer and wetter, with more weather extremes. This will impact the 44 airports that Avinor is responsible for, but in different ways. Avinor started to investigate how a changing climate would impact the aviation infrastructure and operations in Norway at the start of this century. Several risk reduction measures have been carried out over the years, such as including preventive measures in master planning, wave barriers, erosion protection and improved drainage.
During Autumn 2021, the climate adaptation risk assessment was updated, taking into account the latest climate projections. The consequences of these findings are currently being assessed, and Avinor are looking into whether the previously proposed risk reduction measures are still adequate or if new measures are needed. Systems for monitoring and maintaining Avinor’s airport infrastructure have also been significantly improved and now accommodate climate change risk reduction measures. Risk matrices in the revised report have been adapted to those used in Avinor’s general Operational Risk Database, such that physical climate risk can be included in scorecards at airports and will provide for more systematic follow-ups.