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

The Perfect Flight

This week’s newsletter comes to you fresh from the tarmac of Stockholm Bromma Airport in Sweden, which I have flown into this morning onboard the ‘Perfect Flight’.

A collaboration between Braathens Regional Airlines (BRA), Air BP (the supplier of aviation fuel products and services), ATR (the French-based turboprop aircraft manufacturer) and Neste (the world’s largest producer of renewable fuels from waste and residues), the ‘Perfect Flight’ is a first for regional aviation with every element of the flight from Halmstad City Airport to Stockholm Bromma optimised to keep carbon emissions to a minimum.

Having taken off from Halmstad City at 10am this morning (Thursday 16 May), BRA’s ATR 72-600 aircraft carrying 72 passengers was fuelled with sustainable aviation fuel supplied by Air BP and produced by Neste. It landed at Stockholm Bromma Airport just after 11.15am.

Anna Soltorp, BRA’s head of sustainability, explained how the ATR 72-600 has an environmental advantage in that it produces “around 40% fewer carbon emissions per trip compared with regional jets.” They can also take-off and land where other aircraft cannot, giving them accessibility to a greater choice of airfields.

To complement the fuel-efficient aircraft, Neste’s sustainable aviation fuel is sourced from non-palm renewable and sustainable materials (in this case used cooking oil feedstocks) and will produce up to 80% fewer emissions over its life-cycle compared with conventional jet fuel.

Meanwhile, Halmstad City Airport prides itself on being a sustainable airport and aims to be fossil-free by 2030. Solar panels on the roof of the terminal building are used to provide energy, while LED lights are used throughout the airport and on the runway. Electric bicycles are available for passengers to rent from the airport terminal. It also has a number of electric vehicle charging points and is the first airport in Sweden to offer Tesla charging points.

In addition, Halmstad City is one of over 250 locations where Air BP’s operations have been declared carbon neutral since 2016.

“The next step,” explains Anette Holmgren, Halmstad Airport’s business development manager, “is to encourage all our airport partners and the companies we work with to also think about how sustainable they are and what they can do to improve this.”

Speaking on the ‘Perfect Flight’, Soltorp highlighted that while BRA wants to continue flying ‘perfectly’ in the future, to achieve this it needs to be able to “access sustainable aviation fuel in sufficient quantities at the right price. For that we need political initiatives and as a society we need to take action to combat climate change and drastically reduce emissions. Aviation must play its part in this.”

Calling on the need for collaboration from all stakeholders, Tom Parsons, Air BP’s commercial development manager, added: “Today has highlighted what is possible when we all work together. We will continue to look for ways to reduce emissions in our own operations and for our customers.”

Promoting safety and well-being in UK airports

This week has also marked the Airport Operators Association’s (AOA’s) fourth annual Airport Safety Week . It’s an opportunity for airports across the UK to promote and demonstrate safety and well-being practices for both staff and passengers between airports and across different functions.

Events have ranged from fire fighting demonstrations, wildlife control information, dementia awareness and baggage truck driving experiences, to raising awareness of mental health issues for both passengers and airport teams.

Growing the Regional Gateway team

Last but not least, the other big news this week is that we’re delighted to welcome Janine Boxall to the Regional Gateway team. With over 20 years’ experience in the aviation industry, Janine’s focus will be on growing the Regional Gateway brand across both its print and digital platforms. Please do join me in wishing her a warm welcome and if you’d like to discuss sponsorship and marketing opportunities, please contact Janine Boxall directly.

I think I can safely say it’s not just been the ‘Perfect Flight’, it’s actually been the ‘Perfect Week’!

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.

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