Airport Carbon Accreditation News

Issue: 2

Spring/Summer 2010

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Airport Carbon Accreditation, the only institutionally-endorsed tool for mapping and reducing the CO2 emissions at airports, is proud to send you its second newsletter.

In this edition, EUROCONTROL Director General David McMillan talks about the future of aviation sustainability. You will find an article on the 1st meeting of our Independent Advisory Board. We talk about the world post-COP 15, give you the latest participant news and examples of the latest technological trends implemented at European airports.macmillan


Q&A with David McMillan, Director General of EUROCONTROL

What do you think of Airport Carbon Accreditation?

I'm very encouraged by the initiative.  It's a practical approach which many airports are already embracing.  It's important that we tackle this issue - not only by measuring the carbon impact that an airport has, but also by taking realistic steps to reduce that footprint.

The involvement of the ACI EUROPE is invaluable.  It brings not only the potential for benchmarking and for spreading best practice, but also a system of independent verification which helps ensure that the public can have confidence in the results.


Most agree that the COP15 meeting yielded disappointing results. How do you see the climate change debate affecting air transport in the EU in the years ahead?

There will inevitably be a market impact both in terms of some people choosing not to fly and also with some passengers altering their travel plans on the basis of the environmental record of both airlines and airports.  The economic impact of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme may also have an effect on travel plans.

The current pressure on everyone in air transport to reduce their emissions can be expected to intensify.  An important aspect of this will be the introduction of incentive-based regulation, under the Single European Sky II legislation.


Do you feel the air traffic management sector is responding adequately to the issue of climate change?

For many years ATM has driven aircraft fuel efficiency as a natural performance improvement for the industry. Until quite recently, most of ATM success in this area has gone unsung from a climate change standpoint.  The Performance Review Unit estimates European ATM average flight efficiency to be around 94%.  This is a remarkable performance for any industrial sector and even more impressive given that at the same time we are accommodating ever more traffic into the system, integrating civil and military operations, managing multi-airport terminal areas and accommodating noise routes etc.

We've achieved this success through many initiatives.  Central Flow Management has already significantly reduced the extent to which aircraft fly in holding patterns; better collaboration with the military has cut fuel burn and emissions by allowing aircraft to route through military zones where possible; Continuous Descent Operations help to reduce both fuel burn and also noise near airports.  We also are now seeing results from the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE), in which there is close cooperation with the FAA specifically to address the climate change issue.

However, there is still much more to be done.  A particularly valuable approach is Collaborative Environmental Management.  Here we see the benefits of bringing all the parties at an airport together to come up with joint solutions for reducing emissions and noise impact.


EUROCONTROL is a founding member of the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programme. How does SESAR contribute to the aviation industry's environmental response?

SESAR is the future for ATM in Europe and EUROCONTROL is proud to be not only a founding member of the SESAR Joint Undertaking but an active leader of, or contributor to, over 200 of the 300 SESAR JU projects.

Crucially, we are leading a major Work Package (16 - Transversal Areas), which covers a range of topics including the environment. It not only addresses specific issues in these topics but it also provides support and coordination in these areas for other work packages.  That's because SESAR recognises that the environment is not a separate 'bolt-on', it has to be part of every work package, in the same way that safety and human performance are.

Indeed, the environment is the basis for one of SESAR's challenging targets - reducing the fuel burn per flight by 10% by 2020.  A key concept for achieving this is the introduction of '4D business trajectories' where the planned route of aircraft is optimised.  This includes not only reducing the route miles but also improving the vertical flight profile in order to reduce fuel burn.


Can you tell us a little more about the MoU between EUROCONTROL and ACI EUROPE on implementing the Airport Collaborative Decision-Making (A-CDM) and Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) programmes at European airports?

Since the MoU was signed in November 2008, there has been constant and close collaboration between the EUROCONTROL and ACI EUROPE to raise awareness, to support and to facilitate the implementation of CDM and CDA at airports across the ECAC region.

An important element of this has been the roadshows in the UK and Germany.  More will follow - one in France is already on the drawing board.

Real results have come from this collaboration.  31 airports have commenced A-CDM, with another 20 committed.  22 airports have published CDAs (now called Continuous Descent Operations, or CDOs), another 11 are at the trial stage and more than 50 are set to investigate the feasibility of introducing continuous descents.advisoryboard


1st meeting of the Independent Advisory Board


In January, the Independent Advisory Board of Airport Carbon Accreditation met for the first time since the launch of the scheme in June last year.


Ind Advisory Board photo

The Independent Advisory Board of Airport Carbon Accreditation.

Left to Right: David McMillan (Director General, EUROCONTROL), Chris Stubbs (WPS Environment & Energy), Marc Thomas (DG MOVE, European Commission), Prof Callum Thomas (Manchester Metropolitan University), Leonie Dobbie (WSP Environment & Energy), Pascal Luciani (on behald of ECAC), Oliver Rapf (WWF Europe), Chrystelle Damar (ACI EUROPE), Olivier Jankovec (Director General, ACI EUROPE)

The Advisory Board scrutinised the activities of Airport Carbon Accreditation since launch. Constructive discussion followed on how to further advance the ambitions of the scheme and increase its external recognition, in accordance with the scheme scope, rules and requirements.

One of the concrete outcomes of the discussion was the creation of the new 'Eco-Innovation Award' which will be added to the 'ACI EUROPE Best Airport Awards' presented at the ACI EUROPE Annual Congress in June 2010. The new award will be judged exclusively and independently by the Advisory Board. Further details are available herecop15 


The world post-COP 15

Many in Europe are anxious to move past the Copenhagen conference last December and prove that Europe - and European business - can be a global leader in decarbonising their activities, thereby reducing their carbon emissions and their impact on climate change. In line with their call for a global sectoral approach, the aviation industry continues to advance its work on achieving carbon neutral growth.

Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) Executive Director Paul Steele, who attended the COP15 conference commented, "The aviation industry has committed itself to carbon neutral growth by 2020, which requires a global sector approach from all stakeholders. Our operations are already over 20 per cent more efficient than 10 years ago but we will continue to put emissions-reducing new technologies at the heart of our industry."

Although airports are responsible for up to 5% of aviation's total emissions, it is significant that the European airport industry is moving forward with their own commitment to carbon-neutral operations.

"It was always going to be hard to get an agreement at COP15 but the argument for direct, industry-led initiatives that deliver real business improvements is now stronger than ever. Airport Carbon Accreditation is a world's first and an excellent example of business taking the lead and delivering real progress on emissions management and reduction," commented Peter Sharratt, Global Director of WSP Environment & Energy.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE said, "We are already seeing concrete action from the aviation industry. Expanding partnerships and collaborations from a wide range of stakeholders underline the commitment from European airports to reducing carbon emissions. With Airport Carbon Accreditation, the European airport industry is striving to lead by example.partnews


Participant News

Nine new airports have been awarded Airport Carbon Accreditedstatus in the past six months.

December saw Swedish airport Stockholm-Bromma Airport join its sister airport Stockholm-Arlanda in becoming accredited at the 'Neutrality' level.

In the UK, Manchester Airport qualified for the 'Reduction' level of accreditation in November last year. Manchester is a leader in environmental innovation across the entire Manchester airport group, serving more than 29 million passengers every year. Business-oriented Farnborough Airport was also accredited at the 'Mapping' level, an encouraging sign that smaller airports should also take action on Climate Change.

In January, Italy's SEA Milan Airports Milan Malpensa and Milan-Linate became the first airports accredited at the 'Optimisation' level. 'Optimisation' entails that an airport does not just reduce its own CO2 emissions, but engages with other operators on site to help them lower their carbon footprint as well. Also in January, Italian regional Bologna Airport was accredited at the 'Mapping' level.

Greece's Athens International Airport also qualified at the 'Mapping' level in January, followed by Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands in March. Both of these airports feature a 360 approach to energy saving and emissions including recycling targets and a photovoltaic park project in the case of Athens.

And also in March, Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia became accredited at the 'Mapping' level. 

Dubrovnik presentation

Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE presenting Roko Tolic, General Manager of Dubrovnik Airport, with the Airport Carbon Accreditation certificate at the gala dinner of recent SMAG conference which took place in Dubrovnik.



Technological trends 


Six projects were recently undertaken under the auspice of theAtlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE) programme. A total of 1,152 flights were performed that demonstrated 400 tonnes of CO2 could be saved. The projects ran out of Paris (ground movement, green arrivals and departures), Madrid, Stockholm (green approaches and climbs), Portugal and Iceland (oceanic flight optimisation).  AIRE is the first large-scale environmental initiative with aviation partners on both sides of the Atlantic. For more information, click here 


Lufthansa Cargo and Jettainer concluded 120,000 trial runs and six months of materials tests on the use of lightweight containers. The containers use innovative composites instead of aluminum to reduce their weight by 20%, lowering fuel burn and CO2 emissions. For more information, click here.


London-Heathrow Airport, Singapore Airlines, NATS (the UK's air traffic control organisation) and Airbus have been collaborating on new take-off and departure procedures for the A380 aircraft over the past year. The take-offs use less engine power, followed by 'flexible acceleration' after the aircraft reaches 1,500 feet. The new action will save an average of 300 kilos of fuel per flight and is soon to be extended to other A380 operators, Emirates and Qantas. 


In this issue


The world post-COP 15


Participant news


Technology Trends 

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