The European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) and Società Esercizi Aeroportuali (SEA) are to finance airport vehicle charging columns and fixed power supply infrastructure for aircraft at Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports in Italy.
The total value of the financing is €4.4m (US$4.7m), and the total cost of the project is €14.6m (US$15.8m). The eMago project will run for 36 months and involves installing aircraft ground power units on the aprons of Linate and Malpensa airports to supply power to aircraft during parking and ground handling operations, thereby avoiding the use of onboard generators and mobile diesel generators.
Several charging stations will also be set up for electric vehicles used in airport operations, such as the transfer of cargo and passengers between aircraft and terminals, and transporting personnel for loading and unloading services, cleaning and maintenance. These new recharging infrastructures are essential to complete the electrification of airport vehicles and equipment, which SEA initiated in 2020 by replacing 50% of passenger buses at Malpensa with electrically powered models, and will involve the complete replacement of the company’s fleet of vehicles (cars and vans) with 70% electric and the remainder hybrid.
According to the partners, this is the first project of its kind to be financed at an Italian airport. This agreement forms part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) EU funding program. In Europe, similar projects have already been initiated at Paris (Orly), Riga, Vilnius and Kaunas airports. The project will be presented to the European Parliament in November.
Giorgio Medici, head of environment and funded initiatives at SEA, commented, “SEA has long been introducing technologies and working on projects to accelerate the transition toward more sustainable air transport to achieve its zero-emissions target. Thanks to the funding we have obtained, we can now take major steps forward in the electrification process of our airports by working on the ground vehicles that are under our direct responsibility, and on the supply of energy to aircraft in transit at our airports.”
Richard Ferrer, head of CINEA’s alternative fuels sector, said, “By co-funding the eMago project, the European Union is supporting the decarbonization of the aviation sector. The electrification of airport ground operations at Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports will be a turning point and an important first step on the road to net zero emissions. In this sense, the eMago project will make a significant contribution to the European Green Deal.”
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