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ENVIRONMENT Last modified on November 1, 2018

The future is green

Airport World reports on some of the big stories to emerge from the Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva.

Airports continue to do their bit to reduce aviation’s impact on the environment, with ACI revealing that a total of 246 airports now use its Airport Carbon Accreditation programme to manage and reduce their carbon footprint.

Speaking at the Air Transport Airport Group (ATAG) hosted Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva, ACI World’s director general, Angela Gittens, said: “Airports around the world recognise that climate resilience and climate action are two sides of the same challenge.

“With 48 new airports in the programme this past year, the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme has never seen such annual momentum. The 246 airports now accredited across the four levels of the programme welcomed 3.3 billion passengers last year, which represents 44.2% of global passenger traffic. All of those airports engaged in climate action voluntarily.”

She added: “This collective effort is based on the airports industry making environmental stewardship a priority and it is making a difference. From May 2017 to May 2018, accredited airports succeeded in collectively reducing the CO2 emissions under their direct control by 347,026 tonnes.

“To put that achievement in perspective, it would take more than eight million trees planted over 10 years to absorb the equivalent amount of CO2€.”

The 44 carbon neutral airports in the programme alone offset 672,000 tonnes of CO2 in residual emissions.

In other news, the airlines and aircraft operators among the 300 delegates were reminded about the upcoming milestones for the ICAO Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

ATAG’s executive director, Michael Gill, said: “Operators will need to start monitoring fuel use and CO2 emissions from all international flights on January 1, 2019. This is just a few months away and, ahead of that milestone, an emissions monitoring plan needs to be developed and signed off by national authorities.

“We are pleased that so many operators have already taken part in training provided by the IATA, alongside ATAG and the International Business Aviation Council. If your airline is not ready, more training will be available in the coming months and we encourage all of you to take full advantage now.”

Delegates also learned that the global air transport sector today supports 65.5 million jobs and $2.7 trillion in global economic activity, according to the latest version of ATAG’s Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders report.

Launching the report at the summit, ATAG’s Gill, said: “More people in more parts of the world than ever before are taking advantage of safe, fast and efficient travel. There are over 10 million women and men working within the industry to make sure 120,000 flights and 12 million passengers a day are guided safely through their journeys.

“The wider supply chain, flow-on impacts and jobs in tourism made possible by air transport show that at least 65.5 million jobs and 3.6% of global economic activity are supported by our industry.”

The report also looks at two future scenarios for growth in air traffic and related jobs and economic benefits. One, based on an open, free-trade approach, predicts that growth in air transport will support some 97.8 million jobs and $5.7 trillion in economic activity in 2036. However, if governments create a more fragmented world with isolationist and protectionist policies, it predicts that 12 million fewer jobs and $1.2 trillion less in economic activity would be supported by air transport.

ACI World’s Gittens noted: “Airports are crucial links in the air transport value chain that drive economic and social benefits for the local, regional, and national communities they serve.”

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