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Environmental and economic sustainability is the anchor of any business, and it has been consistent over years. Any organization that is not cognizant of the environment is more than likely to perform dismally or fail in the future. It is not a desirable effect for any business. Balancing between the environment and economics is, therefore, the essence of the game (Pearce, Barbier, & Markandya, 2013). It would ensure the organization remains commercially viable while at the same time fostering a culture of environmental consciousness. It is so because production and provision of goods and services to a lesser or greater extent requires the use of natural resources, which are attached to an environmental cost. There are numerous pros and cons to the balance between the environment and the economics during the expansion of an airport’s facilities and revenue base.
Remaining Commercially Viable
Managers desire to increase the airports capacity in order to not lose the business competitiveness and tourism. Expanding the airport capacity comes with economic benefits of connecting the already established transport links to the airport, so more passengers can use the installation (Jimenez, Claro, & de Sousa, 2014). It necessitates the expansion of airports facilities such as terminals and the runways. The constructed facilities automatically generate or create additional capacity. It, in turn, creates other employment opportunities, especially to the neighboring communities. Also, the expansion of a facility would be manageable, as compared to the relocation of the facility, as it would cause mass loss of employment not only at the airport, but also to the indirect jobs in the manufacturing and services industry. In all these cases, the environment is primarily affected as there is an increased destruction of the natural habitat, increased noise pollution, and emission of large quantities of motor vehicle emissions. Striking a balance between the economics of operating an airport and conservation of the environment would be the only solution to remain commercially viable in the future. One way for Los Angeles International Airport to balance between the environment and the revenue base is promoting the use of electric car fleets and rail systems in the vicinity of the airport (Elkind, 2014). The construction works for the midfield terminal, which is expected to increase the number of gates by 12, will generate additional capacity leading to the emission of the harmful gases to the environment (Shirmohammadi, Sowlat, Hasheminassab, Saffari, Ban-Weiss, & Sioutas, 2017). Thus, the use of electric cars will mitigate this effect by ensuring good quality air. Therefore, balancing between economics and environmental sustainability is the way to remain commercially viable in the future.
Positive Health Outcomes
Operations of an airport are likely to generate conflicts between various stakeholders attached to the facilities. It is a regular phenomenon at most of the public institutions. Most of the issues emerge from lack of involvement of all parties in the design and use of such installations. Therefore, the involvement of the communities is a proper way of ensuring the communities are not adversely affected (Knowles, 2016). Noise, for instance, is a common environmental problem at all of the airports. This problem affects the neighboring communities by disrupting sleep and causes overall adverse health outcomes (Rodríguez-Díaz, Adenso-Díaz, & González-Torre, 2017). Striking a balance between airport activity and minimal noise pollution is, therefore, the only possibility of ensuring that the managers and the communities are happy with the location of the infrastructure. At Los Angeles International Airport, this compromise is achieved by selective runway use policies. During the night when most of the residents are asleep, takeoff and landing are over-the-ocean. It is to ensure minimal engine noise in the neighboring communities. Therefore, identifying a common ground between the economics and the environment is the best strategy to achieve positive health outcomes.
Airports provide significant economic benefits in the areas they are situated. For instance, airports are the largest gateway points to other airports, which implies a wide variety of job opportunities and tourism. It fosters foreign exchange which can then be reinvested in other support businesses. Such indirect businesses include the manufacturing, accommodation, services, and processing sectors. The majority of these businesses use local natural resources as raw materials, and overexploitation of such resources is likely to produce overall adverse effects on the environment (Marques, Simões, & Carvalho, 2015). Therefore, discovering a balance between the economics and the environment such that the rate of revenue generation runs parallel to the rate of natural resources exploitation is likely to slow down the creation of income. It is so because there is no conclusive projection of customer growth at major airports. Therefore, constructing an airport after environmental appraisals signifies minimal environmental impacts, but this approach is likely to contribute to slowed growth at the airport. It is liable to cause slowed activity at the airport as passengers may choose rapidly-developing alternative points of destination due to inefficiencies or lack of support infrastructures at the said installation. Luckily, LAX has been growing persistently owing to its strategic location near the Pacific Ocean which is less likely to be affected by the airport operations. Also, there are minimal natural habitats given its location has near desert-like conditions, and it is heavily urbanized. Therefore, balancing the economics and the environment is likely to slow down the economic growth.
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Loss of Customer Base
High-tech innovations characterize the current business environment regarding facilities and structures at airports. Companies with ultra-modern structures and state-of-the-art facilities are likely to achieve competitive advantage over others (Ryerson, 2016). Besides, customers are likely to choose airports with a culture of smooth transition as their preferred destination points. Unfortunately, airports with modern facilities cause most of the environmental pollution concerning noise and air pollution. Defining the balance between the economics and environment means constructing sustainable buildings that rely on clean energy sources which may not be desirable to consumers due to reliability issues (Ryerson, 2016). It may lead to loss of customers who may prefer alternative airports that use reliable energy sources. Thus, the balance between the economics and environment can be an expense to an airport, especially in an area where other airports are not practicing economic and environmental sustainability. The loss of customers can lead to apparent adverse economic implications such as loss of job opportunities, reduced business, undermined tourism and cargo traffic. The strategic location of LAX, however, gives it the capacity to use alternative sources of energy since the solar energy of high intensity is abundant (Monstadt & Wolff, 2015). Thus it can switch between the two sources without a direct effect on the customer base. Therefore, the balance between the economics and environmental conservation can lead to direct loss of customer base and render the facility commercially unviable.
Promoting a balance between revenue generation and environmental protection is advantageous because it ensures the business entities will remain commercially viable in the future. It is so as it directs the construction of structures that are environmentally acceptable and economically productive. In addition, it fosters positive health outcomes by minimizing effects of environmental pollution in the nearby communities. On the other hand, balancing between the environment and economics is likely to slow down economic growth at and near airports and cause loss of customer base as consumers choose alternative airports which have state-of-the-art facilities. Consequetly, it will lead to overall adverse outcomes at the airport.