ACI’s airport carbon programme extends its reach as Incheon becomes South Korea's first accredited airport
Thu 10 Apr 2014 – Seoul’s Incheon International Airport has become the first South Korean airport to achieve certification in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme. There are four levels of certification and the airport reached the third ‘Optimisation’ level. Under the programme, an airport must first measure its carbon footprint (Level 1) and put in place carbon management procedures to show emissions reductions (Level 2). To achieve Level 3, it must then engage with third party service providers at the airport, such as ground handlers and catering companies, to further reduce emissions. It also involves engagement with authorities and users on surface access to and from the airport. Launched by ACI Europe in June 2009, the voluntary programme now has around 80 airports participating on three continents: Europe, Africa and Asia.
In order to reach Level 3, Incheon said it had “developed a clear strategy based on far-reaching environmental efforts, which included the establishment and implementation of action to reduce carbon.”
Initiatives include signing agreements with companies operating at the airport on the voluntary reduction of energy and greenhouse gases. The airport has introduced LED lighting, as well as photovoltaic and geothermal power generation facilities. Airside, it is operating low-carbon aircraft parking ramps, operating hydrogen fuel cell powered buses and minimising taxiing distances for aircraft. On surface access, eco-friendly transportation facilities are being encouraged through the introduction of electric vehicles, bicycle routes and magnetic levitation trains.
It plans to maintain its annual Level 3 certification through the increasing use of renewable energy and high efficiency equipment, and also extend photovoltaic power generation facilities.
Incheon says it sees itself “as one of a new breed of low-carbon, eco-efficient and environmentally aware airports.” The airport corporation said it would promote energy efficiency to other Korean airports and aimed to play a major role in implementing a national strategy to create a clean and sustainable environment.
The airport will be presented with its ACA certificate in late May at the ACI World/Asia-Pacific General Assembly, which it is hosting. It joins Hong Kong, Delhi, Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Hyderabad airports as Level 3 certified airports in the Asia-Pacific region. No airport in the region has yet reached Level 4, ‘Neutrality’, at which annual net CO2 emissions are reduced to zero as a result of offsetting those emissions the airport is unable to eliminate.