Ferrovial SA: Cleaner, greener airports are not a myth, it is taking action to make them a reality | MarketScreener

How does aviation contribute to the economy?

According to Air Transport Action Group (ATAG)air transport generates a total of 29 million jobs worldwide. Of these 29 million jobs, 4.3 million people are employed directly by airlines or airports, contributing $275 billion in GDP to the global economy.

The aviation sector creates millions of jobs while facilitating; connectivity between distant places, support for tourism industries or millions of imports and exports making global trade possible. Therefore, airports play a vital role for society globally in terms of business, tourism or helping people visiting friends and family from all over the world.

How is the aviation sector coping with the climate change crisis?

While it is clear that aviation has tons of positive impacts on communities and the economy, it is also true that it has a negative effect on the environment. This is why, over the past few years, governments and the aviation industry have developed new policies and legislation in response to the current climate crisis. Although aviation is still fully recovering from the pandemic, airports are already focusing on new sustainability strategies while maintaining economic activity.

In February 2020, the UK aviation industry responded by committing to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which at the time was the first national net zero commitment in the world.

Sustainable Aviation’s Decarbonization Roadmap set out the plan to get there and included key actions such as investing in Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), cleaner aircraft and engine technology, and a program airspace modernization.

Small details that make a difference for the environment

Aberdeen International Airport has been carbon neutral since 2019 for emissions under our direct control and we aim to reach net zero for our direct emissions by the mid-2030s.

Electricity is also purchased from 100% renewable sources and we divert 100% of our waste from landfills. Another compromise we are working on to prevent climate change is to eliminate single-use plastic from the terminal. How can you do this in an international airport with a large number of people? By installing water filling stations to allow passengers to fill their own water bottles and a counter that tracks how many plastic bottles have been filled using the station.

Reduce food waste:

There is enough food produced to end world hunger, but according to a study by the charity Sustainable Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP)at least a third (1.3 billion tonnes of food thrown away) of this food is wasted.

For this reason, focusing on reducing food waste and donating excess food that is still edible to a local charity for the homeless is a good initiative to carry out at your airport as well. Aberdeen International Airports donates all surplus food to Aberdeen Cyrenians, who support thousands of the most vulnerable in society. This is an important first step, but it is true that an airport has a wider impact beyond direct emissions. This is why it is essential to commit to achieving net zero carbon (scopes 1 to 3) by 2045.

What does the future of aviation look like?

Hydrogen plane? electric planes? or sustainable aviation fuels (SAF)?

In truth, it’s most likely a mix of these three amazing technologies and you might be surprised to learn that the work has already begun.

In October 2022, Aberdeen International Airport welcomed its first commercial delivery of sustainable aviation fuel. The SAF was delivered by Air bp and will be blended with traditional jet fuel for flights from Bristow to bp’s offshore operations in the North Sea on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

Bp is the first operator in the North Sea to voluntarily commit to a continuous supply of SAF for its North Sea flights, helping to decarbonise transport to its offshore operations.

It is globally recognized that SAF will play a major role in achieving zero-jet aviation and SAF has the potential to significantly reduce UK aviation emissions.

There is a real opportunity with this initiative to help stimulate a national SAF industry here in the UK and in doing so support the decarbonisation of oil and gas transport.

Produced from sustainable raw materials such as used cooking oil, SAF produces up to 80% fewer carbon emissions over its life cycle than the traditional jet fuel it replaces. It is designed as a drop-in fuel, safe to use in existing aircraft and airport infrastructure.

Aberdeen, through AGS Airports, has also signed an agreement with ZeroAvia, the leader in the development of zero emission solutions for commercial aviation. This will explore the development of hydrogen fuel infrastructure, the requirements of the regulatory framework and the resources needed to deliver zero-emission flights from Aberdeen and its sister airport Glasgow.

Working closely with ZeroAvia’s airport infrastructure team, the plan is to assess opportunities for on-site hydrogen production, as well as explore potential commercial avenues.

Switching certain routes to aircraft powered by ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric powertrain will help AGS Airports significantly reduce aircraft Scope 3 carbon emissions and reduce noise and air quality impacts at local. At the same time, AGS will explore how hydrogen can be used to eliminate emissions in ground operations, further extending the impact.

Zero-emission flights will better connect major cities in Scotland to remote parts of the Highlands and Islands, but also to other parts of the UK over the next few years. Given the reduced operating costs and lower noise profile offered by hydrogen electric motors, operating more flights becomes attractive and can thus boost regional economic growth. Aircraft relevant to ZeroAvia’s first commercial offering (ZA600) are already operating from Glasgow, and there is potential to expand zero-emissions flights across the AGS Group to Aberdeen and Southampton.

The ZA600 is designed to power 9- to 19-seat aircraft up to 300 nautical miles and will soon be flight tested for the first time in a 19-seat Dornier 228. ZeroAvia’s mission is to provide hydrogen electric motors in every aircraft, having identified the technology as the most practical, economical and efficient solution to reducing the effects of climate change and air quality. in aviation. Hydrogen-electric motors use hydrogen in fuel cells to generate electricity, which is then used to power electric motors to spin aircraft propellers, the only by-product being water.

Working for a more sustainable future

At Aberdeen Airports, these efforts towards a more sustainable future have been recognized for the past three years by the world’s leading sustainability organization, Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). GRESB provides capital markets with standardized and validated environmental, social and governance (ESG) data. Every year, the GRESB evaluates and compares the ESG performance of real assets around the world. Aberdeen was ranked fifth in the UK in the latest Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Benchmark results of 2022. In the wider EU airport panel, Aberdeen ranked seventh and in the global panel is came twelfth.

Operating such important pieces of infrastructure comes with responsibilities to people, communities and the environment. It is important to work on a sustainability strategy with the aim of making national and international connections beneficial to regions and helping people to prosper.It is also anchored in the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are defined as: “A plan to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They are a universal call to action for end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.”

Using the SDGs, we have identified key priorities that have been grouped into the three pillars of environmental, social and economic impacts, called the “triple bottom line” by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the international institution that defines global sustainability. reports.

We have already highlighted a number of initiatives, but we continue to explore new ways to reduce our impact, including being one of the first airports to trial biodegradable security bags.

Committing to working with governments to ensure you play an important role in addressing the climate emergency is a perfect way to make communities matter. In the next blog, we’ll share more details about an innovative project examining how drones could help the NHS in Scotland.

#Ferrovial #Cleaner #greener #airports #myth #action #reality #MarketScreener

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