Airports… those large, desolating places, with lots of high-potential agricultural areas around the landing runways. Why wouldn’t they be used for something? If we are to trust a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these sites could very well grow biomass for biofuels and still not come in the way of planes or nature’s course.
Still, there is only one worry to think about: what if people decide to favor these instead of traditional, hard-down food crops? And what if habitats get affected because people will start deforesting land to plant biomass? With the currently growing world population, this worry is certainly justified.
Now, both the Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture think these lands are going to waste: the former militate for wind energy, while the latter support the biofuel cause. That’s because airports meet all these criteria: they are marginal, already built and managed lands and wouldn’t sacrifice any more territories.
And the benefits don’t stop here: airports could earn more money and they wouldn’t be the only ones – the rural economic development would get a boost too with the extensive lands, while the cultivating of the crops itself would reduce the number of traffic-disturbing wildlife.
If not, these sites could always serve as hosts for solar installations and geothermal sites, as supported by the Air Force and Army funding. After all, we only have one planet and we should make the most of it!