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IATA and Atkins Develop Carbon Capture Tool for Airports

In a big move towards eco-friendly air travel, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Atkins have introduced a groundbreaking tool to capture carbon emissions in airport terminals.

This special digital toolkit is designed to assess and reduce the amount of carbon produced by terminal buildings and aviation assets. It is the first initiative of its kind in the aviation industry.

Rapid Expansion in Aviation and the Need for Carbon Reduction

After the pandemic, the aviation industry is growing quickly. This growth creates an urgent need to update the infrastructure and achieve Net Zero targets to support sustainable aviation principles. One key strategy to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint is to decrease the amount of carbon in terminals and runways.

Digital Toolkit: A Major Milestone in Net Zero Emissions

The digital toolbox developed by IATA and Atkins helps airports better understand and reduce the carbon effects caused by construction. This is a crucial move towards accomplishing Net Zero emissions in aviation.

Empowering Airport Development Teams

The toolkit allows airport development teams to compare the carbon footprint of three main airport assets: terminal buildings, runways, and parking structures. Its purpose is to help teams understand the environmental impact of their projects. They will have the information they need to discuss ways to reduce carbon emissions with airport operators.

A Unique Digital Tool for Airport Terminal Buildings

Geneva Airport, headquarters of IATA. (c) FCMedia/FlightChic
Geneva Airport, headquarters of IATA. (c) FCMedia/FlightChic

The tools created by IATA and Atkins, a division of the SNC-Lavalin Group, differ from existing carbon assessment tools because they specifically focus on aviation-related structures. They can be used early in the design process, making them extremely valuable.

IATA on Achieving Net Zero Emissions by 2050

Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President Operations, Safety, and Security, stressed the need for collective efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. He noted that the industry is fully committed to and making progress in decarbonizing aviation.

“Decarbonizing aviation is the industry’s greatest challenge, and the industry is fully committed and making progress. However, reaching net zero by 2050 will require collective efforts from the entire industry supply chain and from policymakers. Our collaboration with Atkins on this innovative digital toolkit will help airports meet their own objectives by providing a crucial platform to evaluate and reduce carbon impacts for new airport developments. By facilitating dialogue around carbon mitigation from day one of an airport development project, together we are making headway towards Net Zero aviation,” said Careen.

A Credible, Transparent, and Flexible Toolkit

The new digital toolkit was created with credibility, transparency, and flexibility in mind. It can be adjusted in the future to change any assumptions. The Airport Carbon Capture Tool by IATA and Atkins is a big step forward in updating the aviation industry while working towards global sustainability goals.

Andy Yates, Technical Director Aviation Infrastructure for Atkins, also welcomed this milestone. He acknowledged the new tools’ vital role in dealing with the complex challenges of achieving net-zero goals in the aviation sector.

“Our embodied carbon advisory team have worked with IATA to develop a set of innovative industry tools, leading a mature aviation market into a challenging and previously unexplored area of embodied carbon assessment. These tools allow clients to confidently explore the vital conversations around embodied carbon reduction as airports respond to the complex challenges that surround the sector’s net zero goals. The tools have been developed by a multidisciplinary team including architecture, airport planning, and structural design as well as carbon experts, ensuring a solution that understands the complexity and multi-faceted approach needed to assess embodied carbon,” said Yates.

Setting a New Standard in Aviation Sustainability

The new Airport Carbon Capture Tool represents a big step forward in the aviation industry’s efforts to become more sustainable and reduce carbon emissions to zero. It is an innovative approach to measuring the carbon footprint of aviation infrastructure, setting a higher standard for other industries to follow.

About Atkins

Atkins is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing over 19,000 people across the UK, North America, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Europe.

About SNC-Lavalin

Founded in 1911, SNC-Lavalin offers a broad range of services and manages projects globally. SNC-Lavalin brings together people, technology, and data to shape and deliver leading concepts and projects. They provide innovative solutions throughout the entire lifespan of assets. Their areas of expertise include consulting and advice, intelligent networks and cybersecurity, design and engineering, procurement, project and construction management, operations and maintenance, decommissioning, and sustaining capital. SNC-Lavalin serves clients in four main sectors: engineering, design, and project management (EDPM), infrastructure, nuclear, and resources, with support from their capital division.


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