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The future is green


Airport World reports on a handful of sustainability news stories making headlines across the world this summer.

Encouraging progress at ICAO talks in Montréal

The aviation industry says progress towards a long-term climate goal for the global air transport sector took a significant step forward at July’s High-level Meetings in Montréal organised by ICAO to reach an agreement on a Long-term Aspirational Goal (LTAG) for CO2 emissions reductions, aligned with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C goal and the industry objective of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Haldane Dodd, executive director of the cross-industry Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), said: “The aviation industry has agreed a goal of net-zero carbon by 2050 and reaffirmed the importance of that common objective.

“These negotiations are challenging as the different approaches of States are explored. But the effort to come together around a common goal of net-zero has been encouraging and lays the groundwork for fruitful discussions at the ICAO Assembly later this year.

“Aviation decarbonisation is a huge challenge that needs investment and innovation from the industry, but also a co-ordinated approach with ICAO and its Member States to set the appropriate policy frameworks required for success.”

The aviation industry reminded delegates of the importance for ICAO and Member States to work on emissions reduction objectives through a global approach with co-ordinated policies.

This, says ATAG, will allow the timely certification of new aircraft and fuels as well the updating and development of relevant ICAO standards for innovative aircraft technologies, new types of operations conducive to emissions reductions, new fuels and cleaner energy sources and support for timely delivery of any necessary changes to airport and energy supply infrastructure.

July’s meeting was a precursor to the discussions which will take place in September and October in Montréal.

Queen Alia achieves ‘Transition’ status in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme

Airport International Group (AIG) has announced that Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport has become the first gateway in the Middle East and one of only 21 in the world to achieve Level 4+ ‘Transition’ status in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.

The Amman gateway notes that it was awarded the certificate following a “rigorous review of its carbon management processes”, which it says aligns with global climate goals to reach a net-zero carbon status by 2050.

It has established a road map to reduce CO2 emissions from fuel and electricity consumption and the ongoing responsible compensation of residual CO2 emissions under its control in line with the global airport industry’s response to climate change.

“Since 2013, Queen Alia has been setting an example of what it means to be a climate-friendly airport and has been the first in the Middle East to achieve ‘Neutrality’,” enthused AIG CEO, Nicolas Claude.

“Such a proud feat is instrumental in highlighting not only Queen Alia, but also Jordan, on the global aviation stage. Given the deliberate industry-wide shift towards environmental best practices, we at AIG are keen on building an even more sustainable and responsible international airport.”

ACI Asia-Pacific’s director general, Stefano Baronci, said: “By becoming the second airport in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East region and the first in the Middle East to achieve Level 4+ status, Queen Alia International Airport is firmly positioning itself as a pioneer in carbon management.

“It is an impressive accomplishment in an era of unprecedented challenges for the aviation industry. The fact that airports, regardless of their size, are demonstrating strong commitment to operate in a more sustainable way to protect the environment is indeed a very positive sign.”

Electric vehicle grant for Massport

Boston Logan operator, Massport, has received a grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) to support its plans to facilitate the transition to more electric vehicles (EVs).

Massport admits that getting more passengers to use electric vehicles will be an important step if it to achieve its goal of becoming net zero by 2031.

The grant comes from MassCEC’s Accelerating Clean Transportation for All (ACT4All) Program. ACT4All aims to equitably increase access to clean transportation across the Commonwealth, reduce emissions in overburdened areas, and build effective community partnerships.

“Offering EVs through rentals and rideshares will catalyse the adoption of EVs and help us achieve our clean transportation and emissions reduction goals,” said MassCEC CEO, Jen Daloisio.

“The growing deployment of EVs at Logan Airport and accompanying infrastructure will both help to educate consumers and begin to reduce emissions in surrounding communities. MassCEC is proud to support this innovative programme.”

In 2019, there were more than 1.3 million rental car transactions at Logan and 2022 is trending to near one million transactions. Today, passengers at Logan can rent more than 200 EVs from the Rental Car Center or choose an EV option from Uber or Lyft.

The demand at Logan Airport for more EV charging both landside and airside continues to increase. Massport has more than 40 landside chargers available for the public spread across the airport’s parking garages and Ride App and taxi pools. These chargers are funded through Massport’s capital budget as well as grant funding.

For those driving their own EV to Logan, there are 173 hybrid, electric, and alternative fuel only parking spaces available and charging ports are located conveniently near the terminals with no cost for electricity use.

Massport is also working to transition its own fleet to EVs, and recently ordered two electric Ford F-150 trucks and two electric Ford Transit vans for use at Logan Airport.

“The MassCEC grant will help us prioritise our ongoing efforts to expand electric vehicle availability at Logan Airport,” said Massport CEO, Lisa Wieland.

“Reducing the emissions created at Logan is not only good for the environment, it helps us to be a good neighbour to surrounding communities, while providing our passengers with the sustainable transportation options they desire.”

Brisbane accelerates net zero target by 25 years

Brisbane Airport (BNE) has announced its intention to become a net-zero gateway by 2025 – 25 years earlier than previously intended.

“BNE is more than an airport. We are a sustainability leader. We want to create a world-leading Airport City that future generations can be proud of, because of how we acted today, to protect the community of tomorrow,” said Gert-Jan de Graaff, CEO of Brisbane Airport Corporation.

“This is not a new concept for us. We’ve been on this journey for 12 years, but now we are hitting fast-forward to reduce our impact on the planet.”

The accelerated 2025 net zero target relates to Scope 1 & 2 activities, which includes emissions from electricity and fuel consumed by BAC.

To achieve net zero (scope 1 and 2) by 2025, BAC has committed to transition to 100% renewable energy, purchase all-electric fleet vehicles and develop an onsite carbon removal project within its Biodiversity Zone.

It has allocated 285-hectares to preserve and maintain biodiversity on site, and to act as an improved carbon removal asset. By 2030, BAC is also committed to 50% use of recycled water, and zero waste to landfill.

BNE is a signatory to the global Clean Skies for Tomorrow initiative. As such, BAC has committed to working with more than 100 other airports, airlines, fuel suppliers and industry stakeholders to put the global aviation sector on the path to net zero emissions by accelerating the supply and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to 10% by 2030.

Recently BAC also became a signatory for the Mission Possible Partnership (MPP) Aviation Transition Strategy. The aviation sector through this MPP is activating an alliance of global partners to supercharge the decarbonisation of the industry.

“We want passengers to know that when they’re travelling through Brisbane Airport, we are doing everything possible to ensure they are having the lightest touch on planet earth possible,” noted de Graaf.

“As we plan for the future, our decisions are based on protecting the environment, growing responsibly, and supporting our communities. We know we are on a green and gold runway to the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games. Without the green, there is no gold.”

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