Momentum builds for airport sector’s global carbon reduction programme as major airports join up
(photo: Dubai Airports)
Fri 27 Mar 2015 – Since it went global last November, a total of 122 airports across the world have now been certified under the industry’s Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme, with 20 airports having reached carbon neutral status. The programme was launched by ACI Europe, the trade body for European airports, in 2009 as part of a commitment to reduce the sector’s carbon emissions, and has now become adopted by all ACI regions. This month, Dubai Airports entered both its airports, Dubai International and Al Maktoum International, into the programme and join fellow UAE airport Abu Dhabi International, which is among the 24 certified airports in the Asia-Pacific region. ACA is independently administered and has the backing of ICAO, the European Union and the United Nations Environment Panel (UNEP).
The programme has four levels of accreditation covering all stages of carbon management, ranging from Mapping through to Neutrality. “An impressive 1.67 billion air passengers now travel through airports certified at one of the levels – equivalent to 26.5% of global air passenger traffic,” said Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI Europe, and Angela Gittens, Director General of ACI World, in a joint statement. “Most promisingly, we are seeing a lot of airports moving up the levels of the programme – making real progress in the way they manage their carbon footprints.”
In Europe, Antalya, Venice and Rome Fiumicino airports have recently upgraded to Level 3+ Neutrality certification and Nice has successfully reached Level 3 Optimisation. Three airports – Stavanger, Marseille and Cannes – have just joined the programme at either Level 1 Mapping or Level 2 Reduction. Airports in Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Turkey and the Czech Republic have also renewed their certifications.
Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International has recently achieved certification at Level 3 Optimisation, which requires the airport to not only reduce its own emissions but also widens the scope to include other third parties operating at the airport, such as airlines and service providers.
Dubai Airports says its engagement with the programme is part of ambitions for more sustainable operations. It recently announced plans for a 100-panel solar array at Al Maktoum International, which will have a capacity of 30KW and generate about 48.8MWh of electricity per year, equal to around two-thirds of the power used by the airport terminal building.
Since the start of the programme in North America six months ago with Seattle-Tacoma as the launch airport, six airports in the region have been certified and Montreal Trudeau has become the second to be accredited, at Level 2 Reduction. The other four airports are Victoria (Level 1 Mapping), and the three Portland airports – International, Hillsboro and Troutdale – at Level 2 Reduction.
Airports that have committed to apply in the coming months for certification at one of the four levels include Denver and San Francisco in North America; Libreville and Abidjan in Africa; and Galapagos and Quito in ACI’s Latin America & Caribbean region.
The full results of the sixth year of the programme will be released in June at ACI Europe’s annual assembly in Prague.