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ACI World and World Economic Forum unveil Airports of Tomorrow initiative


ACI World and the World Economic Forum today launched the Airports of Tomorrow initiative aimed at accelerating the decarbonisation of the aviation industry.

The announcement was made to over 800 aviation delegates at the ACI EUROPE/ACI WORLD Annual General Assembly, Conference, and Exhibition in Barcelona, Spain.

Airports of Tomorrow will bring public and private stakeholders together to drive unprecedented collaboration and change in the sector, maximising the potential for airports to be vehicles for economic growth and environmental stewardship.

The initiative is built on four pillars – Infrastructure, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), Finance, and Innovation – that will each see the exchange of expertise and knowledge sharing, development of tools and guidance, and advancement of advocacy.

Airports as leaders in the decarbonisation transformation

Airports have been leaders in the decarbonisation transformation, with ACI being the first global aviation organisation to commit to a goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 for airports, made on 8 June 2021. This was followed by the cross-industry commitment in October 2021 and by ICAO States in October 2022.

Collaboration across aviation stakeholders, including States, regulators, fuel producers, and the financial sector, is crucial to attaining the joint commitment to net zero carbon emission by 2050.

ACI World director general, Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “The ACI World-World Economic Forum Airports of Tomorrow initiative will help airports transform from passenger hubs into energy hubs.

“It is an exciting time for airports: the energy transformation presents them with an opportunity to further lead and change the future of aviation for the better.

“Decarbonization is a critical global issue that requires a global response. With the support from governments and the collaboration of stakeholders along the aviation ecosystem, including energy producers, policymakers, and the finance community at large, together we can make the net-zero airport transformation a success story, while enhancing a sustainable and resilient future for the Airports of Tomorrow.”

While Lauren Uppink, head of climate strategy at the World Economic Forum, said: “We see airports as strategically located epicentres of activity, where leaders from across the aviation ecosystem can convene and work together to transform the industry.

“If the right planning and investment decisions are made today, airports can play a pivotal role in shaping a sustainable future for aviation as well as other transport sectors.

“The Airports of Tomorrow initiative will help airports harness these opportunities, enabling them to fulfil their potential as clean energy hubs and standard-bearers for the net-zero economy.”

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