CAIRO: In an effort to activate its role in environmental protection, EgyptAir Holding Company signed a collaboration protocol with the Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs.
The holding company’s role would be activated throughout its seven subsidiaries, locally regionally and internationally, “through materializing the Egyptian and international laws in the field of occupational health and environment, establishing entities for safety, occupational health and environment protection, said Adel Hamada, vice president of safety and quality control at EgyptAir.
Through the protocol, EgyptAir, with its seven subsidiaries, would contribute in the information collection and development process. For example, through environmental affects assessment studies the ministry would be able to discover the effects of the construction of the new terminal on the surrounding environment, according to Yehia Abdel Qader, president of the central administration for media and environmental awareness Throughout the construction process the ministry would collect information about noise rates and suggest methods to reduce it, Abdel Qader explained, pointing to one of the types of collected data.
According to the ministry’s Web site, 5,927 environmental affects assessment studies were made in the period from July 2004 to June 2005 – four percent of which focused on infrastructure and energy-related projects. Airport construction and expansion is classified under the “black list (as opposed to the white and gray lists), which entails full assessment of environmental effects.
There are, however, more dimensions to the protocol. Minister Maged George announced last week that “the two parties have agreed to work on developing their joint collaboration in protecting the environment within the frame of each one’s specialties and regulations regarding expertise and environment information exchange and completing the environmental record.
Hamada added that this exchange in information and expertise includes “carrying out audits and measurement related to the air, water and noise pollution and completing an environmental record, which describes the environmental status quo of EgyptAir companies.
The collaboration aims at serving “the different societal causes and all that is related with development projects connected to increasing health and environmental awareness, George added – the ministry has been collaborating with different entities within the public and private sectors to initiate standards of information exchange and environmental protection according to each company’s work, according to the Web site.
For starters, the planned exchange of technical information would include other areas within EgyptAir’s frame of work.According to Abdel Qader, airplane exhaust would be studied to figure out methods to reduce it. He explained that engine types, ascending and landing techniques,and the distance the airplane takes on the runway are all factors that determine the amount of exhaust produced.
The protocol initiates a number of workshops aimed at spreading environmental awareness and preparing technically specialized manpower. “Educating [EgyptAir staff] about environmental management is one of the objectives, said Abdel Qader.
Topics like “occupational safety and health, emergency and evacuation, making audits, occupational diseases, occupational exposure and occupational preventive measures, are already on the training agenda. The workshops would also cover issues related to the surrounding environment including pollution and the disposition of solid wastes, he added.
The protocol also establishes a basis for joint environmental projects between EgyptAir and the ministry. It states that the ministry would participate in the higher committee for safety, occupational health and environment protection.
According to Hamada, the committee’s main role is to “set up plans and policies to substantiate the Egyptian and international laws in the field, carry out projects protecting the environment and cooperate with the governmental and non-governmental bodies in the field. Abdel Qader said this participation would facilitate realizing the objectives of the protocol.
The committee, which was established in 1999 and further developed in 2005, is one of EgyptAir’s early environment-friendly efforts, according to Hamada. Such efforts include the establishment of a committee for suggesting a mechanism to reduce fuel consumption.
“As adherence to the Egyptian and international laws in the realm of environment is obligatory, EgyptAir has taken all required procedures and measures to adhere to such laws, he said. “As we need the experience of the Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs, EgyptAir signed the protocol.