During the Airports Council International Europe Regional Airports Conference, Angela Gittens, Director General of ACI World, reported progress on the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme and towards COP21 agreement objectives.

  • 157 airports worldwide are currently certified at one of the 4 levels of Airport Carbon Accreditation
  • 21 airport operators are carbon neutral – the latest is Izmir Adnan Menderes airport in Turkey
  • 33% of air passengers worldwide now travel through airports certified under the programme
  • 65% of air passengers in Europe travel through airports in the programme
  • More than a quarter of air passengers in Asia-Pacific travel through airports in the programme.

Europe is at the lead, but other airports are ramping up efforts with Asia-Pacific and North American airports are showing “strong momentum,” the airports association states.

“Airport Carbon Accreditation is clearly empowering airports across the world to address their impact on climate change,” Gittens says.

How it Works

The Airport Carbon Accreditation programme certifies airports at 4 different levels which represent stages towards Carbon Neutrality: Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation and Neutrality.

Certification is administered independently by WSP Parsons Brickenhoff, which assesses and approves airports and provides administrative and advisory services.

The process is overseen by a dedicated Advisory Board which includes representatives from the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change), ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme), the European Commission, ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference), EUROCONTROL and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Committed to Carbon Neutrality

The global airport industry committed to carbon emissions reductions in 2007 in a special resolution passed during the ACI World Annual Congress and Assembly.

ACI Europe developed and launched the Airport Carbon Accreditation program in June of 2009, which was then extended airports in Asia-Pacific in November 2011 through a collaboration with ACI Asia-Pacific, and to African airports in June 2013 in partnership with ACI Africa. ACI-NA and ACI-LAC encouraged participation of North American and Latin Caribbean airports in December of 2014.

  • Following the COP21 climate negotiations in December 2015, European airports committed to increasing the number of carbon neutral airports from 20 to 50 by 2030.
  • Izmir Adnan Menderes airport has achieved Level 3+ Neutrality, making it the 21st carbon neutral airport in Europe and the world.
  • 84 other European airports are now certified at one of the 3 other available levels within the programme.

“We are seeing a lot of airports moving up the levels of the programme as they strive to get closer and closer to carbon neutrality. There are now 20 European airports at Level 3 Optimisation—the level just before carbon neutral status—and they welcome over 29% of European air passengers,” says Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI-Europe.

Since COP21, all 10 French airports in the VINCI Airports group have joined the program: Nantes Atlantique, Rennes Bretagne, Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne, Grenoble Isère Airport, Chambéry Savoie Airport, Dinard Bretagne, Quimper Cornouaille, Poitiers Biard, Saint-Nazaire Montoir and Ancenis Airport.

Additionally, Aéroport de La Rochelle, Riga Airport, Sofia Airport, Keflavik Airport and Lithuanian Airports’ Vilnius Airport have now entered the programme at Level 1 Mapping.

A current list of all global airports participating in the programme, including their level of certification can be found on the Airport Carbon Accreditation site.

Featured Image: Geneva Airport and the Alps as seen from IATA Headquarters, © FCMedia 2015

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