The Galapagos ecological airport on Baltra Island in Ecuador has become the world’s first green air transport facility, running entirely on solar and wind energy.

Opened in 2012, the airport has also secured LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council.

Around 35% of airport’s energy is produced by photovoltaic panels installed on the walkways, and the remaining 65% comes from windmills situated in strategic sites within the facility.

The new building of the airport was built using materials recycled from the earlier infrastructure.

The airport is run by Ecogal, a Corporación América firm, which also has a desalination facility that provides water for the terminal.

"There is the possibility that volcanic ash could halt air traffic again."

Airport manager Jorge Rocillo was quoted by Euronews as saying: "The main thing is that it is a sustainable building, a public building that can balance technology and comfort for passengers without polluting the environment. This is basically the legacy we want to give."

The 6,000m² terminal of the airport operates only during the day and is used by around 300,000 passengers per annum.

Ecogal said the air terminal’s relation to natural surroundings and environmental impact reduction were considered during design and construction works.

The Government of Ecuador granted the airport concession to Ecogal in April 2011 for a period of 15 years.

Ecogal operates 53 airports across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Image: Galapagos ecological airport was opened to the public in December 2012. Photo: courtesy of Ecogal SA.