At first glance, there’s nothing out of the ordinary about the regional airport in George. But fact remains the same that it is Africa’s first “green” airport, which is to be powered by the sun.
The control tower, escalators, check-in desks, baggage carousels, restaurants and ATMs — every service here depends on a small solar power station.
The power station is located a few hundred kilo metres away in a field of dandelions, next to a runway. Dnvironmentally-conscious travelers welcome development.
Its 2,000 solar panels produce up to 750 kW every day, easily surpassing the 400 kW needed to run the airport.
George Airport was originally built in apartheid-era South Africa in 1977 to make getting home easier for PW Botha, a government minister at the time and later president.
It now serves as a transit hub for shipments of home-grown flowers and oysters, as well as golfers visiting one of the region’s many courses.
It is the second solar-run airport in the world after Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery. Some 7,00,000 passengers pass through George airport’s doors each year.