Volotea becomes first airline to join VINCI Airports’ carbon sink programme

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Spanish low cost airline, Volotea, has partnered with VINCI Airports to join its forest carbon sink programme. The initiative was launched earlier in the year at Lyon Saint Exupery Airport in France to offset residual carbon emissions from VINCI Airports as well as its customers and partners. Volotea opened a new base at the Lyon hub in June 2021.

Commenting on the partnership Carlos Munoz, Founder and CEO of Volotea noted that, “this project reflects Volotea’s desire to offset its carbon emissions and to develop a cleaner and more environmentally friendly aviation sector.” He added that the collaboration also demonstrates how the two companies “share the same vision for the airline sector and are convinced that the future will be sustainable.”

In joining VINCI’s programme, Volotea is investing in projects that allow it to offset its carbon emissions and is in line with the LCC’s plans to transition to a less polluting sector. The airline’s efforts have been concentrated on the network’s value and eco-efficiency, the development and implementation of initiatives to reduce the emissions from its operations and support for new technologies and strategies to accelerate progress towards a more sustainable aviation sector. Volotea is also developing a 100% electric aircraft.

“Along with sustainable biofuels and hydrogen, forest carbon sequestration is an integral part of our comprehensive strategy to decarbonise air travel,” said Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions and President of VINCI Airports. “This partnership demonstrates our ability to offer relevant solutions to our customers, partners and all users of our transport network.”

UK airports halve emissions in line with commitment to sustainable growth

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To coincide with its annual conference held on Tuesday 19 October, the Airport Operators Association (AOA) has launched its Decarbonisation Report, which reveals that greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by up to 50.6% since 2010, while passenger numbers increased 41.7% over the same period (2010-2019).

The 18 airports that represented more than 95% of passengers emitted 514,331 tonnes of CO2e in 2010 from sources they controlled (known as scope 1 & 2 emissions), while welcoming 201.7m passengers through their doors.

In 2019, those same airports accounted for 249,824 tonnes of CO2e, 50.6% less than in 2010, while seeing 285.8m passengers travelling, an increase of 41.7%. This is based on the energy used at those airports (known as location-based emissions). If the renewable energy purchased by those airports i included (known as market-based emissions), then overall emissions fell by around 80%.

“Thanks to significant efforts, airports have achieved a major reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions they control since 2010 and this is testament to their commitment to sustainable aviation growth,” said Karen Dee, AOA’s Chief Executive.

She added: “Despite this record achievement, more needs to be done to reach net zero. Our Decarbonisation Report shows that airports that take responsibility seriously and are setting out pathways to further emission reductions.

“Emissions from airports is, of course, not the whole picture. Aircraft emissions account for the majority of the aviation sector’s greenhouse gases. here, too, airports are stepping up the plate.”

AOA’s Decarbonisation Roadmap outlines the measures airports are taking to work with airlines and other stakeholders including ground handlers to reduce emissions as well as to reduce their own energy use and invest in sustainable energy and heat generation, including solar farms on airport land.

Other actions airports are taking include: investing in zero-emission vehicles; improving the energy efficiency of equipment and buildings; scoping options to invest in using or generating renewable heat at airports; upgrading airspace to make the most of the capabilities of modern aircraft and reduce noise impacts and emissions; encouraging staff and passengers to use sustainable transport to the airport, including working with local, devolved and UK governments to invest in sustainable surface access; and working with airlines, universities and aerospace manufacturers to develop zero-emission aircraft and the necessary infrastructure for electric or hydrogen aircraft propulsion.

“As we come out of the pandemic, now is the time to consider how we build back better to achieve that net-zero future. At the AOA Annual Conference today, airport CEOs, Chairman of the Commitee on Climate Change Lord Deben, Ministers, Parliamentarians and investors will discuss what we need to do individually and together on this vital journey to a sustainable future,” concluded Dee.

NBAA-BACE: Avfuel launches book and claim programme and commits to sustainability

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Capping of an exciting 12 months of developments, global aviation fuel supplier Avfuel has made a formal commitment to sustainability during this year’s National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), which is taking place 12-14 October in Las Vegas, US. Its commitment includes a new sustainability mission statement, a book and claim programme to widen the benefits of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) globally and a pledge to offset emissions annually.

According to the fuel supplier it is committed to identifying, developing, providing and advocating for sustainable solutions. It will also promote environmentally responsible operations at its properties and throughout the Avfuel network.

Making SAF more attainable

The fuel supplier’s book and claim programme enables customers to buy a full load delivery of SAF and receive credit for the emissions reductions benefit it provides no matter where they are in relation to where the fuel is delivered.

“We’re thrilled to now make SAF more attainable for our customers worldwide,” said Keith Sawyer, Avfuel’s Manager of alternative fuels. “SAF is the most effective way to reduce a flight’s carbon footprint, and book and claim is the single-most effective way to make SAF attainable for customers no matter where they fly. SAF production is largely isolated to the Western US. Trucking the fuel to the opposite end of the country where a customer may want SAF is not only less efficient and costlier – particularly given the truck driver shortage – but also affects the lifecycle emissions reduction benefit of SAF. Rather than moving the molecules, it makes far more sense to move the accreditation.”

Using Avfuel’s book and claim programme customers can purchase SAF (the claim) no matter where they’re located – paying the premium cost for SAF over jet fuel and, in return, receiving the credit for its use and applying it to their ESG scores. This SAF is taken off the book at an airport where the physical SAF molecules are held and being uplifted by customers who are simply paying for jet fuel and do not get to claim credit toward using SAF in their ESG scores.

To ensure the SAF molecules aren’t double counted the entire system is conducted in a compliant manner. Only the SAF purchaser receives credit for that SAF’s emissions reductions. Sawyer explained that the programme is not unlike carbon offsetting whereby customers can pay to invest in green projects and receive credit toward carbon emissions reductions. “The difference is that emissions are being directly reduced by an operation through the use of SAF, rather than simply offsetting emissions that have already been produced,” he said.

Commitment to carbon offsets

To offset carbon emissions generated from its own activities from 2020 onwards, which includes energy used on Avfuel’s campuses and by company vehicles, as well as the fuel used in corporate aircraft and diesel used in leased refueler truck equipment across its network, Avfuel will purchase carbon credits to offset 8,164 metric tonnes of carbon emissions. The credits will be purchased through Avfuel’s new carbon credit provider, CBL Markets.

“At Avfuel we recognise the responsibility we have – especially as a fuel supplier – to operate with a sustainable mindset,” said Marci Ammerman, Avfuel’s VP of Marketing. “After carefully reviewing the emissions we produce as a company with third-party sustainability consultants, we felt it imperative to do our part in reducing our net carbon footprint. While we’ll continue to analyse how we can reduce our direct emissions as a company, we’re excited to promote a cleaner, brighter future by offsetting the emissions we do generate through the use of carbon credits, which fund green initiatives that wouldn’t otherwise take place.”

GSE Expo: ATS offers innovative and ‘greener’ alternative to traditional aircraft tugging and taxiing

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With aviation contributing around 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions in 2019, this figure is expected to increase to 22% by 2019 according to a report titled Decarbonising Aviation: Cleared for Take Off, published by Shell in association with Deloitte.

A new system from Oklahoma-based Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide (ATS) is set to tackle this issue from the ground up by helping airports become greener as well as helping airliners reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. It has been showcasing its concept this week during the GSE Expo that uses electric tow vehicles that run along below-grade tracks on airport ramps and taxiways to pull aircraft from the taxiway to the terminal. A prototype of the technology is currently being installed at the Ardmore Industrial Airpark in Ardmore, Oklahoma and is due to be completed before the end of the year.

By moving aircraft using electric tow cars, the safety-enhancing, fuel-saving and environmentally friendly technology not only saves fuel but slashes emissions and reduces noise pollution, as pilots can turn off their engines. The system also reduces collisions and incursions because it follows a track as aircraft are moved to and from the terminal.

Based on ATS World Wide’s calculations if the ATS system was installed at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, airliners would be able to save $491 million in fuel consumption per year. If O’Hare were to increase its landing fees to equate just 50% of the fuel savings, O’Hare could establish a way to cover the costs of the ATS installation and ultimately generate revenue for the airport. Airliners would be happy because they’d still be benefitting from close to $250 million in fuel savings. The carbon emissions reductions associated with the lower fuel usage will also enable O’Hare to earn emission credits that could then be sold on global emission markets; based on current prices ATS estimate O’Hare being able to generate and additional $3.2 million in revenue from the sale of these credits.

According to ATS, it would not have been able to develop the technology if it weren’t for advances in electric motor development; their small sizes today can easily be integrated within the underground channel and they are powerful enough to tow aircrafts.

Sweden to increase airport fees for high polluting aircraft

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The Swedish government plans to charge airlines more at takeoff and landing based on how much their aircraft contribute to pollution.

The measure is set to take effect in July and essentially a way of phasing out aircraft that run on older technology and produce more waste as it means that older aircraft will be hit with the higher fees, while newer and more efficient aircraft will benefit from the scheme.

The Ministry of Infrastructure described the plan as a first in Europe and possibly the world stating: “This means that takeoff and landing fees can be more significant when a plane’s climate impact is higher and they can be reduced when the climate impact is lower.”

The project, which has yet to be approved by parliament and will directly impact aircraft flying in and out of Arlanda Airport in Stockholm and Landvetter Airport in Gothenburg. It will also include planes that fly on biofuels, such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Sweden is where the flygskam or flight shaming movement began in 2018, which pressured people to stop flying in order to lower carbon emissions. According to Swedish Railways, a single flight between Stockholm and Gothenburg generates as much carbon dioxide as 40,000 train journeys.

Air bp installs carbon emissions reducing technology on all fuel hydrants in Portugal

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International aviation fuel products and service supplier, Air bp, is rolling out its innovative start-stop technology on all its fuel hydrant dispensers in Portugal – the first country in the fuel suppliers operated network to achieve this milestone.

Reducing carbon emissions of each vehicle by an average of 25%, Air bp’s start-stop technology automatically shuts down and restarts the vehicle engine to reduce the amount of time the engine spends idling, thereby reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The overall saving is estimated to be 3.4 tonnes of CO2e  per vehicle per year.

Effective immediately, the start-stop technology will be installed on all Air bp’s newly procured hydrant dispensers. The overall aim is to have all existing hydrant dispensers across its global operated network, that are less than 10 years old, retrofitted with the technology by the end of 2021.

Having achieved carbon neutrality across its global operated airport into-plane fuel facilities in 2016, the start-stop technology is one of several elements that form part of Air bp’s carbon management plan.

“Our carbon management plan is a key part of Air bp’s global operations. In 2016, we made a 10-year pledge to retain our carbon neutral accreditation. In relation to start-stop technology, over the past two years we have worked hard to achieved this first milestone and continue to work determinedly towards achieving our aims,” said Gigi Yuen, Air bp’s Global Carbon Neutral Lead.

Other initiatives that are used by the company to reduce carbon emissions across its global operated facilities include: reducing the number of road journeys made by trucks; using electric powered vehicles and using an in-line magnetic filter, Magna-Strain, within pipelines to reduce the electrical demand on pumps.