by Tiana May
16 Jun 2022
As the aviation industry invests in the large-scale use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), it remains crucial for airlines to continue decarbonising ground operations to contribute towards sustainable operations.
At the first edition of Global Mobility Call, Luis Gallego, CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG), spoke of the significance of an ‘aviation revolution’ that will enable the future of a sustainable air travel industry.
To achieve this goal, the industry is investing in developing SAF using biological matter and waste. This alternative to kerosene provides airlines with a sustainable fuel that does not require technical alterations to be made to existing aircraft. However, SAF is 6 times more expensive than kerosene, and its availability and regulation currently prevent airlines from using a high ratio of SAF to kerosene in their aircraft.
Consequently, while SAF continues to develop, airlines are exploring additional means of decarbonising the industry, such as within their ground operations. Iberia states that European airlines are currently succeeding in reducing their total Co2 emissions by at least 1 percent each year. This progress is achieved through investments in electrifying ground support vehicles, as well as through amended policies and practices. For example, in a round table discussion at Global Mobility Call, Teresa Parejo Navajas, Director of Sustainability at Iberia, stated that altering taxiway operations and ensuring planes only use one engine during transit, has improved aircraft fuel efficiency by 8 percent.
Furthermore, throughout the discussion, Ana Salazar, Head of Sustainability at Aena, spoke of the significance of altering airport infrastructure to expand the use of green energy in airline operations. This included electrical recharging of parked aircraft, as well as the electrification of airport fleets to eradicate the use of fossil fuels. In addition to investing in the necessary charging infrastructure for these initiatives, Aena also said it was constructing a photovoltaic plant at Madrid-Barajas Airport to generate green energy.
These contributions towards a sustainable aviation industry require significant investments from airlines and their partners. Throughout the talk, “Aviation’s big bet for a sustainable future” at Global Mobility Call, the speakers reasoned that the use of kerosene oil in commercial flights should consequently remain tax-exempt, as its use is currently unavoidable. They suggested that such a tax would instead arguably limit airlines’ capabilities to fund the further development of SAF and invest in decarbonising ground operations, which would have a greater long-term environmental benefit.
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VINCI Airports has installed pedal-powered phone chargers at Guanacaste Airport in Costa Rica to reduce electricity consumption.
Assaia has launched an APU Emissions Control platform that can reduce carbon emissions by detecting Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) usage at gates.
TotalEnergies, Groupe ADP and the FFA will install charging stations for electric aircraft at airfields in the Paris Ile-de-France region.
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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched an Environmental Assessment for Airports and Ground Service Providers.
On.Energy is collaborating with Skysense to install its battery energy storage systems (BESS) at 11 airports across South America.
Edinburgh Airport (EDI) is partnering with Katrick Technologies to capture previously untapped wind energy across the airport campus.
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Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) has ordered 22 CNG-powered buses and four Axess EVO-BE battery-electric buses from ENC.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Terminal 4 has become the first pre-existing terminal in the US to be certified as LEED Platinum.
Torino Airport is deploying an electrically powered fleet of ground handling vehicles to achieve zero-emission aircraft turnarounds.
Toronto Pearson International Airport has partnered with Intuitive AI to trial an AI-enabled bin that will help divert waste from landfills.
San José International Airport (SJC) has upgraded to SJCE's TotalGreen service to power its buildings with 100 percent renewable energy.
Twente Airport is hosting an E-Flight Academy pop-up from 6 September, which will allow pilots to trial flying an electric plane.
London Stansted has received planning permission from the Secretary of State to develop its airport solar farm.
WheelTug has signed Spanish airline, AlbaStar as its Launch Customer for Europe to deploy the WheelTug electric taxi solution.
Edmonton International Airport (EIA) and ZeroAvia are collaborating on developing hydrogen infrastructure.
At Farnborough International Airshow, the UK government released its Jet Zero strategy, mandating all airports to be zero-emission by 2040.
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Edinburgh Airport has started powering its airside vehicles with Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel rather than diesel to reduce emissions.
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Hamburg Airport has become the first major commercial airport in Germany to have CO2-neutral operations according to the ACI certification.
SITA will set ambitious science-based emission reduction targets in a bid to reach net-zero by 2050 and align with limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
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To encourage companies operating at Swedavia’s airports to become fossil-free, Swedavia has introduced a special HVO 100 incentive.
The Green Baggage Alliance will focus on raising awareness around, and reducing, the environmental impact of baggage throughout its journey.
The Airport Regions Council (ARC) and EUROCONTROL will reinforce their joint efforts to achieve a sustainable aviation sector in the following decades.
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Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) has scooped the Sustainability Award, at the Pride of Ground Handling Awards.
Gatwick Airport and GRIDSERVE will build the Gatwick Electric Forecourt – an electric charging, net zero equivalent to a petrol station.
AUS has been awarded a Level 3+ Accreditation recognising the airport's achievement of becoming carbon neutral.
Belfast International Airport has achieved gold level in the 2021 Northern Ireland Environmental Benchmarking Survey.
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SOFIAC has partnered with Aéroports de Montréal to develop a large-scale energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reduction project.
Christchurch Airport is committing 400 hectares of its Harewood campus to Kōwhai Park – a new platform for generating renewable energy at scale.
Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is set to become Net Zero Carbon Emission Airport by 2030, ahead of the IPCC’s 2050 target.
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Envision Digital and SITA have signed an MoU to jointly build end-to-end net zero carbon solutions for airports worldwide.
For second year in a row, Salvador Bahia Airport has been recognized with the Via Viva award, granted by the Ministry of Infrastructure of Brazil.
The annual World ATM Congress has recognised the arrival manager (AMAN) system from Frequentis Orthogon in its annual awards.
The Dutch aviation sector has presented a sustainable taxiing roadmap to reduce fuel consumption and harmful emissions at Schiphol.
MAG will provide passengers the ability to offset the carbon emissions from their flights in a new partnership with CarbonClick.
Bordeaux Airport’s new international pier was inaugurated last week by Simon DRESCHEL, Chairman of the Management Board of the Airport Company.
YVR has announced a new plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2030, becoming one of the world’s greenest airports.
Denver International Airport (DEN) is expanding its industry-leading renewable energy portfolio with two new solar projects.
Swedavia continues preparations to handle electric aircraft with the inauguration of Visby Airport’s new charging infrastructure.
Bristol Airport continues with its strategy of reducing airport operating emissions by trialling an electric airside bus.
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SITA, the world’s leading IT provider for the air transport industry, has announced it has achieved CarbonNeutral® company certification.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has won ‘Energy Efficient Unit’ Award by the Confederation of India Industry (CII).
Denver International Airport (DEN) has outlined initiatives to help reduce the environmental impacts of airport operations over the next five years.
Istanbul Airport has joined the "Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050" commitment initiated by the Airports Council International (ACI).
The FAA has awarded more than $766 million in grants to build safer, more sustainable and more accessible airports across the United States.
Teesside Airport will be the UK’s first pilot area to test hydrogen vehicles as part of the Tees Valley’s status as the country’s Hydrogen Transport Hub.
Vilnius Airport is planning the construction of an automated aircraft de-icing recycling plant in 2022.
PANYNJ has announced that LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B has been awarded the LEED v4 Gold certification by the USGBC.
SITA has acquired Safety Line S.A.S., the Paris based start-up specializing in digital solutions for aviation safety and efficiency.
Farnborough Airport, is delighted to offer Sustainable Aviation Fuel to all aircraft using the airport from this week.
Riga Airport has joined the ACI Europe initiative Net Zero 2050, acknowledging its dedication to achieve complete reduction of CO2 emissions.
Melbourne Airport has announced its commitment to ensuring all front of house hospitality venues and lounges become single-use plastic free.
An eleven-acre solar farm is to be constructed on Edinburgh Airport’s airfield as the airport publishes its sustainability strategy.
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Perth Airport has signalled a rapid expansion in renewable energy which will drive its new commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030.
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Bristol Airport has launched a new Fund to kick start and fast track decarbonisation initiatives in the South West of the United Kingdom.
Phnom Penh airport has furthered its green operations with new systems to supply aircraft on ground, replacing fossil-fueled equipment
Sydney Airport has announced it will achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030 and outlined actions that will ensure it meets the commitment.
Edmonton International Airport and Air Canada are partnering to reduce carbon emissions and advance green and sustainable aviation.
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Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and Austin Energy celebrate the completion of a new solar panel array constructed on the AUS campus.
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VINCI Airports has announced that France's Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne Airport is now supplied with sustainable air biofuels (SAF).
CLT’s Concourse A Expansion – Phase I, achieved Green Globes® for New Construction certification, recognizing sustainability efforts.
Menzies Aviation has announced its commitment to making 100% of its operations carbon neutral by the Company’s 200-year anniversary in 2033.
Hamad International Airport has signed an MoU with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment to develop waste management methods.
The SFO has announced the expansion of its industry-leading plastic-free policy to prohibit the sale of any beverages in plastic bottles.
Groningen Airport Eelde and New Energy Coalition will collaborate to make the airport sustainable through hydrogen applications.
Aena’s Board of Directors has signed off on its Climate Action Plan 2021-2030, which will enable it to reach carbon neutrality by 2026.
Swedavia is one of the first in the world to have airport operations under its own management at its ten airports be fossil-free.
Kansai Airports Group is pleased to announce that it has set a long-term target to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
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Air bp has announced that all its fuel hydrant dispenser vehicles in Portugal now have stop-start technology.
Siemens has installed over 30,000 components and energy technologies for The Circle at Zurich Airport, furthering its sustainable design.
Heathrow has successfully pitched two forward-thinking ideas to Innovate UK’s Future Flight Challenge, and begun the first stage of research.
Vanderlande is delighted to be signing The Climate Pledge, committing to susatainability and achieving a net-zero carbon footprint by 2040.
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