Groundbreaking aviation biofuel supply initiative wins Oslo Airport industry environment award
Mon 27 June 2016 – Oslo Airport is the recipient of this year’s Eco-Innovation Award from the independent advisory board of the industry’s carbon management programme, Airport Carbon Accreditation. Presented during ACI Europe’s annual congress in Athens, the judges in particular praised the airport for its ground-breaking project in setting up earlier this year a regular supply of jet biofuel through its existing fuel farm and hydrant dispenser system to all airlines serving the airport. Based on a collaboration with airlines, fuel companies and biofuel producers, the judges said it should be an example to be followed by other airports aiming to reduce their environmental footprint. During its congress, ACI Europe released annual results that show 107 airports across Europe are now part of the carbon programme, with 22 airports, including Oslo, at the highest carbon neutrality level.
The sustainable biofuel initiative at Oslo involves the airport’s operator Avinor, Air BP and the EU-funded Itaka project, with Lufthansa Group, SAS and KLM being the first airline customers to purchase the fuel (see article). The fuel enters directly into the airport’s fuel hydrant system without having to rely on a segregated infrastructure, the first time this has become possible at an airport. Air BP has initially agreed to deliver 1.25 million litres of blended fuel.
Accepting the Eco-Innovation Award, the second time Avinor has won it, CEO Dag Falk-Petersen said: “We are thrilled and proud to get this recognition for our important environmental efforts. Delivering aviation biofuel at Oslo Airport is an important step towards carbon neutral air travel. When we started offering aviation biofuel in January, the intent was to show that it’s actually feasible. Being an inspiration for airports worldwide is certainly a desired effect of our pioneering efforts.”
The judges also recognised other environmental efforts at the airport, including a revolutionary snow cooling facility, a project concerning second-generation synthetic biofuel for use in large airport vehicles and the achievement of having the highest percentage (70%) of passengers arriving by public transport at a European airport.
The ACI carbon programme certifies airports at four different levels of accreditation, covering Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation and Neutrality, and is independently administered by international consultancy WSP Parsons Brinksdorf. The advisory board includes representatives from ICAO, UNEP, UNFCCC, the European Commission, ECAC, Eurocontrol and Manchester Metropolitan University.
Olivier Jankovec, ACI Europe’s Director General, reported airports certified during the past year achieved a combined reduction of 146,118 tonnes of CO2. The full results for year seven of the programme, along with those from the other ACI regions, will be released during the ACI World & North America annual assemblies in Montreal at the end of September.
“The programme is now entering its eighth year here in Europe and it is reassuring to see the continued level of engagement by airports as they continue to seek out new efficiencies and invest in cleaner technology to identify new ways to lower their CO2,” commented Jankovec.
Added Dr Grant Kirkman of the UNFCCC: “It’s always good to see an industry being proactive of its own accord, but it’s even more impressive when those involved express and show real ambition in their activities. Through their commitment to carbon neutrality and concrete climate action, airports demonstrate their contribution towards the achievement of the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC recognises Airport Carbon Accreditation as a robust framework for this contribution.”