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Global airport industry increasing effort to tackle CO₂ emissions

Above: Sofia Airport awarded accreditation in November 2016

The voluntary and independent global program Airport Carbon Accreditation has certified 189 airports around the world at one of its four levels.

International emissions are soon to be subjected to the CORSIA agreement formed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) last year, and progress can be seen at airports around the world that represent a total of 38% of global air passenger traffic – 2.5 billion passengers.

Thirty airports are carbon neutral, with 25 in Europe, four in Asia and one in North America. Bangalore International and Sunshine Coast Airport are the latest airports added to the list.

Peter Pallot, general manager at Sunshine Coast Airport, said, “The team has worked incredibly hard to make Sunshine Coast Airport the most sustainable airport in Australia. To date our initiatives have delivered a 24% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions, 9% reduction in electricity consumption per passenger and an 11% reduction in waste-to-landfill per passenger.”

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok and Adelaide Parafield and Sydney Airport have both successfully moved up to Level 3 optimization.

Angela Gittens, director general at ACI World, commented, “An impressive 2.5 billion air passengers now travel through airports certified at one of the 4 levels of Airport Carbon Accreditation – a testament to how much the program has helped mobilize airport operators toward addressing their carbon footprints.

“Airport Carbon Accreditation is enabling a multi-speed effort now involving 189 airports across the world and it’s inspiring to see the level of innovation and diversity with which airports are contributing to the fight against climate change.

“I would particularly like to congratulate Bangalore International and Sunshine Coast on becoming carbon neutral airports. We are also hugely encouraged by the latest accreditations in Africa - this really sends a message to the wider world that carbon management is a valid consideration for every business no matter where they are located.”

In recent months, several new airports in Africa have got on board with the initiative, nearly doubling the participation of the continent. Cape Town International, King Shaka International (Durban), Port Elizabeth International and OR Tambo International (Johannesburg) have all successfully entered the program at Level 1. This brings the total number of African airports in the program up to nine.

In Europe, there are now 117 airports participating in the program, 50 of which are at the top 2 levels of the program. The most recent movers within the program are Dusseldorf and Naples airports, each of which successfully make the jump from Level 2 Reduction, to Level 3 Optimization.

Madeira, Marseille and Porto Santo airports have moved up to Level 2 Reduction while Switzerland’s Bern Airport became the latest newcomer in Europe, entering the program at Level 1 Mapping.

It has been two and a half years since the program was launched in North America, but 21 airports have already become certified in the region. These airports currently account for 32.4% of air passenger traffic in North America.

Learn more about the Airport Carbon Accreditation here.

Written by Kirstie Pickering

April 28, 2017


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