Regional Gateway editor Chloë Greenbank summarises the latest happenings across airports serving business, regional and low-fare routes.

Welcome to a new year, a new decade and in case you haven’t already seen it, a new edition of Regional Gateway magazine. It’s yet another packed issue with a strong focus on sustainability, which remains a key focus for the industry as stakeholders continue to tackle the issue of making air travel cleaner, greener and more efficient than ever before.

Bristol Airport in the UK has already started the year by announcing that it is the first airport in Europe to offset all road journeys to and from the air transport hub. Meanwhile, the business aviation community has welcomed congressional legislation including provisions aimed at promoting the development and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). And with awareness of climate change accelerating rapidly, Privatefly’s CEO, Adam Twidell, anticipates that the industry will see a major shift in sustainability communications with “companies moving towards self-governance and communicating their [sustainability] efforts more publicly.”

Sustainability is also a key topic on the agenda at the 50th World Economics Forum taking place later this month in Davos (Switzerland). Zurich as well as St Gallen-Altenrhein and other airports in the region are anticipating a spike in air traffic during the event. Building on the Forum’s 2018 ISO 20121 certification for sustainable event management, Davos 2020 is aiming to be one of the most sustainable international summits in four key areas: emissions, materials, food and transport. Organisers are encouraging participants to use the most environmentally friendly mode of air travel and are working with partners in the aviation industry to promote the use of SAF for those flying in. And while it may not be music to the ears of those working in the aviation industry, the Forum is also offering to refund half of the cost of a first-class train ticket to any participant travelling by rail to this year’s event.

In this era of flygskam or flight shaming some might consider Davos’s measures small steps, but as airport and airline leaders have been advocating for some time, taking action and being part of the solution, no matter how small the steps, is what really matters. Air travel is key to boosting economies, connecting people and creating opportunities, and the focus now is on ensuring the entire passenger journey is done in the safest and most sustainable way possible. To sit back and do nothing, or to stop flying altogether, is simply not an option.

It would appear the aviation industry is starting the decade as it means to continue – roaring ahead with a carbon neutral future firmly in its sights!

The editor’s comment is published weekly as an accompaniment to the Regional Gateway e-newsletter. If you do not currently receive our email updates, you can subscribe here.

Leave a Reply