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Theme: Planning & Design
Airport reports: Bengaluru Kempegowda
Special Report: ACI-LAC’s recovery from COVID
Plus: Data sharing, People matters & WBP news

Building back better

Editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the importance of the sustainable development of the world’s airports. 

The recent Global Sustainable Aviation Forum hosted by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) once again drew attention to some of the key environmental and economic challenges facing airports, and the need to address them now, and going forward, to ensure aviation’s licence to grow. 

Two significant developments at the ATAG event were the transport sector’s declaration of intent to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and the publication of Waypoint 2050 outlining credible paths for the industry to follow to ensure that it meets this long-term climate goal. 

If all goes to plan, net zero will be reached through a combination of climate action initiatives. This includes supporting new aircraft technologies, such as hydrogen and electric, as well as improvements in operational efficiency and infrastructure. 

The acceleration of the production and uptake of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is expected to play a major role in reducing the climate impact of aviation. Furthermore, any outstanding emissions would be captured using carbon removal measures. 

Speaking at the time, ACI World director general, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, said: “The road ahead will be challenging, but aviation is no stranger to challenges. This historic declaration shows the determination of the sector to work together to take this important climate action. It is now imperative that governments support these efforts to make this vital sector sustainable.” 

Arguably, being seen to be green and actively engaged in efforts to limit aviation’s impact on the environment has never been so important as the industry is, quite rightly, under more scrutiny than ever before to demonstrate that it can develop sustainably. 

Self-established goals like achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will certainly help the aviation and tourism industries, which pre-COVID, supported an estimated 87.7 million jobs worldwide and $3.5 trillion in global economic activity. 

As you would expect, the sustainable development of airport infrastructure figures highly in this ‘planning and designed’ themed issue of Airport World. 

We take a closer look, for example, at VINCI Airports’ pioneering global sustainability strategy; and discover how sustainability is central to the design and development of Pittsburgh International Airport’s new $1.1 billion terminal. 

Also in the themed section of the issue, we have stories about the ongoing development of Saudi Arabia’s new Red Sea airport; building inclusivity and accessibility into the design of Kansas City International airport’s new terminal; and London Gatwick’s bid to raise its capacity to 75mppa by becoming a two-runway airport. 

The bumper planning and design section also includes an update on the development of a planned high-speed rail link to Melbourne Airport in Australia and a round-up of some of the biggest capital development projects across the globe. 

Elsewhere in this issue, in our regular ‘View from the Top’ article, Luis Felipe de Oliveira reflects on the importance of building back sustainably and the long-term benefits this can bring to airports. 

In the latest in a series of articles looking at COVID’s impact on different regions, ACI-LAC’s director general, Rafael Echevarne, tells us more about how the region’s airports are faring and the start of the recovery from the global pandemic. 

Our main airport interview is with Hari Marar, managing director of Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), operator of India’s third busiest gateway, Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport. 

We round out the October/November edition with articles about the benefits of greater collaboration and data sharing between airports and airlines; and the customer service appeal of geospatial and location technologies, plus World Business Partner (WBP) news and our regular People matters column. Enjoy! 

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