Airlines Consider “Halon Banking” to Save Ozone Layer
Airlines and airport authorities in developing countries met with counterparts and experts in Manama, Bahrain, to consider long-term options to manage dwindling stocks of halons used for onboard and ground fire protection. Airlines agreed to examine their current and future halon use and consider applying the concept of “halon banking” to manage critical applications over the next 20 to 30 years.
Halons - found in aircraft cabin interiors, airframes, engines, cargo bays and airport ground facilities - play a critical safety role as they remain the only fire protection option available. However, due to their destructive effect on the ozone layer, it was agreed they are progressively phased out under the Montreal Protocol.
Developing countries are required under the Protocol to end their halon consumption by 2010. With the restricted halon supply, countries and companies worldwide must engage in “halon bank management” to better manage the remaining stocks. This entails identifying and preserving existing chemicals in cylinders and installed systems and progressively limiting their use to critical applications such as on aircrafts.
The Manama Roundtable was organized by UNEP’s Regional Office for West Asia / Compliance Assistance Programme as part of UNEP’s work under the Protocol’s Multilateral Fund. Five international airlines participated: Air India, British Airways, Garuda Indonesia Group, Gulf Air and Trans Mediterranean Airlines, in addition to representatives from the Halon Technical Option Committee (HTOC), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), several national halon banks and national ozone officers from the West Asia region.
In follow-up to the meeting, Gulf Air in cooperation with UNEP and HTOC plan to organize a meeting with aircraft manufacturers and aviation authorities in the Gulf region to encourage airlines based in other developing countries to pursue halon bank management strategies.
For more information kindly contact:
Robert Bisset, Information Officer, Tel: +33 1 4437 7613, Mob: +33 6 2272 5842, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Curlin, OzonAction Branch (DTIE), Tel: +33 1 44 37 14 55, Fax: +33 1 44 37 14 74, E mail: email@example.com
In West Asia
Mr Fareed Bushehri, Programme Officer - Halon Phase Out, Tel: +973 17812770, Fax: +973 17825111