Aviation and the Environment, CAPA 13-Jan-2020


UNWTO and Globalia announce finalists for tourism startup competition, focusing on sustainability  (World Tourism Organization report)

Port of Seattle: Washington Governor calls on State Legislature to adopt Clean Fuel Standard (Port of Seattle report)

Sn Diego Airport Authority Board Certifies Environmental Study for Terminal 1 Replacement Project (San Diego International Airport report)

SriLankan Airlines clarifies claims on purchases of drinking water (SriLankan Airlines report)

Tourism Startups Focus On Innovation And Sustainability (World Tourism Organization report)

  • Finalists announced for 2nd UNWTO Global Tourism Startup Competition in partnership with Globalia
  • Final phase to be held on 20 January, on the eve of FITUR
  • Entries from 150 countries received

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in association with Globalia, the leading tourism group in Spain and Latin America, has selected the finalists of the 2nd Global Tourism Startup Competition, an initiative that the two entities have been working on since 2018 when its first edition was held.

In the competition’s first two editions, Wakalua, the global tourism innovation hub powered by Globalia, in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization, has received proposals of nearly 5,000 startups from 150 countries. The countries with the highest number of projects submitted have been Spain, followed by India, the United States, Portugal, Nigeria and Colombia.

The second edition features startups in a more mature stage, with 10% having had more than EUR 500,000 in turnover in 2018. The finalists will present their projects at the Wakalua headquarters in Madrid. Seven will win awards in their respective categories.


Building on the success of the inaugural competition, this new edition continues to identify new companies that will lead the sector’s transformation. The aim and common denominator is to achieve a sustainable and profitable future through technology and innovation. This initiative is supported by partners such as Turismo de Portugal, Telefónica, Amadeus, Intu Costa del Sol, IE Africa Center and Distrito Digital Valencia, among others.

These partners will participate actively in the final decision and in the subsequent promotion, financing rounds and implementation of the pilot projects with the winners:


This annual competition is one of the flagship projects of Wakalua, the tourism innovation hub powered by Globalia in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization. Wakalua will host the winning startups for further development, providing support in order to establish links with leading companies in the sector. Innovation consulting firm Barrabés.biz is also a partner making this project possible.

Deep Tech, rethinking location and geolocation: With the backing of Amadeus, the aim in this category is to select the best startup that simplifies trips for customers or suppliers using location systems. Solutions that combine location data with artificial intelligence can be used to identify tourism regions, associate them with nearby airports, optimize, and offer opinion mining, among others.

Smart Mobility: In partnership with Telefónica, this category features projects that improve the quality of travel and that facilitate the mobility of users using any transport system. The objective is to reduce economic, environmental and time costs.

Smart Destinations: With the collaboration of Distrito Digital Valencia, solutions will be identified to improve the sustainability and profitability of destinations from the economic, environmental and socio-cultural perspectives by leveraging technology to help foster innovation and accessibility in an increasingly globalized world.

Disruptive Hospitality: Intu Costa del Sol will analyse companies that contribute to optimizing the total experience of travellers by combining the best solutions in the world of retail, shopping centres, food, leisure and hotels, so that, through personalized services and digital connectivity, every trip can be as efficient and effective as possible.

Rural Development: Globalia will place special emphasis on rural areas with the objective of transferring knowledge and innovation, and improving their viability and competitiveness. With the overall objective of promoting a shift towards an increasingly low-carbon economy, this category also seeks out companies devoted to risk management and animal welfare, as well as the restoration, preservation and improvement of ecosystems.

Innovative tourism solutions: Turismo de Portugal will present an award for the best innovation project outside the above categories.

Special award for sustainability: In addition, the UNWTO and Globalia will present a special sustainability award with the aim of giving more visibility to projects that are committed to more efficient and sustainable tourism.

Lastly, the IE Africa Center will recognize 2 projects in terms of social impact in Africa, awarding them with the Social Innovation Retreat scholarship, Sun Cycles Namibia and Enjoy Agriculture Senegal, presenting their initiatives. The winner of the Travel Tech 4 Good accelerator, in collaboration with the Tui Care Foundation and Enpact,  Halla Travel, will also present its startup.

Finalists by category:

Deep Tech:
Klustera (Mexico)
TravelX (India/USA)

Smart Mobility:
Eccocar (Spain)
Zeleros (Spain)

Smart Destinations:
Road.Travel (Russia)
Visualfy (Spain)

Disruptive Hospitality:
Hackpacking (Peru)
Questo (Romania)

Rural development:
i-likelocal  (Netherlands)
Rutopia  (Mexico)

Innovative tourism solutions:
HiJiffy  (Portugal)
LUGGit (Portugal)                 

Adventure Junkies (Australia)
La Voyageuse (France)
Live Electric Tours (Portugal)
Pikala (Morocco)

Port of Seattle: Washington Governor calls on State Legislature to adopt Clean Fuel Standard  (Port of Seattle report)

Support for Clean Fuels Continues to Grow

Regional business and elected leaders call on State legislature to pass a clean fuel standard. Governor Inslee joined by legislative leaders, Alaska Airlines, and others to encourage approval

Governor Jay Inslee and State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon joined the Port of Seattle on Friday to call on the State Legislature to adopt a Clean Fuel Standard in its 2020 legislative session. They were joined by a variety of others including Alaska Airlines, among the first major airlines who announced their support for a statewide Clean Fuel Standard in Washington, due to the fact it will create an incentive mechanism for airlines to promote the use of sustainable aviation fuels. Alaska, the Port, and the State of Washington have partnered to lead the national conversation around Sustainable Aviation Fuels since 2010.

At a press conference today, Port of Seattle Commissioners Fred Felleman and Ryan Calkins hosted a group of supporters, which included State Senator Joe Nguyen and Dr. Annemarie Dooley of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility. The speakers were joined by an array of allied groups who are pushing for this policy in Olympia, including OneAmerica, the Washington Environmental Council, the Renewable Energy Group, Neste, and more. The legislation, House Bill 1110, will require fuel providers to reduce the carbon pollution from transportation fuels over time. 

Friday’s conference follows resolutions passed by the cities of Spokane, Issaquah, Bainbridge Island, and Tacoma encouraging statewide action. A Clean Fuel Standard has had strong support in 2019 among a diverse group including public health groups, local elected officials, automobile manufacturers, environmental justice groups, clean energy businesses, and science and medical professionals.

“Transportation is far and away our state’s largest source of carbon pollution — making up nearly half the total,” said Governor Inslee. “The Clean Fuel Standard is the cheapest and best opportunity we have, bar none, to reduce carbon pollution from transportation at this scale.”

“Washington has the opportunity to lead the world in the development of clean, sustainable aviation biofuels because of our innovative aerospace sector, our international hub airport, and our abundant farms and forests to produce biofuel feedstocks,” said State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon. “Policy support such as a clean fuel standard is a critical tool to get the sustainable aviation biofuel sector off the ground by scaling up the production of on-road biofuels. Communities impacted by pollution, particularly those near highways and airports, are counting on a transition towards cleaner burning fuels, and it’s time for the Legislature to accelerate this transition by adopting a clean fuel standard.”

California, Oregon, and British Columbia all have working clean fuels policies, leaving Washington state as the only west coast state without such a policy. That has resulted in Washington-produced renewable fuels being sent out of state, in search of the markets for clean fuels generated by this policy. Washingtonians spend about $9 billion annually on mostly imported gasoline and diesel, while many locally-produced clean fuels are shipped to other these other states.

“At the Port, we see a clear, operational need for enactment of a Clean Fuels Standard in order to begin the process of creating a strong market for these clean energy alternatives in our state,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Ryan Calkins. “The consequences of global climate change are here. Addressing them requires urgent public policy action.”

“All of us care deeply about the long-term health and vibrancy of our incredible region and the globe,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, VP External Relations, Alaska Airlines. “At Alaska, we’re thinking about what it will take to scale production of sustainable aviation fuels and ensure they are commercially viable.  Inclusion of a voluntary opt-in as part of a statewide clean fuel standard will increase access to locally produced sustainable aviation fuel and help our industry meet ambitious commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis.”

Senator Nguyen has emerged as a leading voice in the Senate Democratic Caucus and voted for Representative Fitzgibbon’s Clean Fuels Standard bill in the 2019 session as a member of the Senate Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee. He is also a cosponsor of the Senate Clean Fuel Standard proposal. Annemarie Dooley has been a leading voice in support of CFS from the community health perspective. 

"We must act with urgency and utilize every tool we have to combat climate change, said State Senator Joe Nguyen. “A clean fuels standard is a smart, proven way to improve air quality and reduce our carbon footprint." 

The American Lung Association, WA Physicians for Social Responsibility (WPSR), and the Washington Academy of Family Physicians see a Clean Fuel Standard as one of the most important ways to improve public health by decreasing sources of air pollution. At the national and global level, an increasing number of health organizations list climate change and increased emissions as a severe threat to public health.

"A UW study last month at Sea-Tac showed higher levels of ultrafine particles from aviation fuel, pollution that could possibly have serious effects on the lungs of local communities and workers. Cleaner fuels would be a good step to improving air quality for all," said Annemarie Dooley M.D., Physicians for Social Responsibility. 

House Bill 1110, introduced in each of the last two legislative sessions by House Environment Committee Chair Joe Fitzgibbon, passed the State House in March 2019 by a vote of 53-43.

While it advanced through the Senate Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee, it stalled in the Senate Transportation Committee and did not reach the floor of that chamber for a vote before the end of the 2019 legislative session. In the upcoming 2020 State Legislative Session, Governor Inslee has reiterated his strong desire to see the bill passed, and Rep. Fitzgibbon has indicated his intent to move his bill to the House floor for a vote early in session, and to work with Senate advocates to secure passage through that body.

San Diego Airport Authority Board Certifies Environmental Study for Terminal 1 Replacement Project (San Diego International Airport report)

Improved Customer Access and Amenities at Heart of Airport Development Plan

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board of Directors today certified the Final Environmental Impact Report for the Airport Development Plan (ADP), which envisions the replacement of the 53-year-old Terminal 1 at San Diego International Airport.

The unanimous vote brings the highly anticipated project one step closer to reality.

“Today we took an important vote that will help ensure our airport can accommodate expected passenger growth well into the future and ensure our customers and their families are treated to a better airport experience than today’s Terminal 1 can provide,” said April Boling, Airport Authority Board Chairman. “The plan will also ensure the airport can continue to function as an economic engine for the region for decades to come.”

The new Terminal 1 would feature 30 gates (up from 19 in the current terminal) and represent a significant upgrade for passengers. It would offer more gate-area seating, restaurants and shops, as well as additional security checkpoints with more lanes and a host of energy-efficiency upgrades.

San Diego International Airport is the busiest single-runway commercial airport in the U.S. It has seen record growth in passenger volumes over the past six years. The impacts of this growth are most evident in Terminal 1. When it opened in 1967, it served 2.5 million passengers that year. In 2019, the same facility served more than 12 million.

Overall, the airport served roughly 25 million passengers in 2019. More than 1 million of them were international passengers. 

The Airport Development Plan (ADP) would also include numerous roadway and transportation improvements to make it easier for everyone to access the airport. A proposed on-airport entry road would remove an estimated 45,000 cars per day from Harbor Drive. The plan also includes right-of-way for outbound lanes, when needed.

The Airport Authority has been working with SANDAG, the Port District, the City of San Diego, MTS, NCTD, Caltrans, the County of San Diego and other regional agencies to assist in their efforts to analyze circulation around the Airport, as well as to determine the best transit solution for carrying people to the airport.

The Airport Authority has set aside space between the terminals for a transit station that could accommodate any regional transit system chosen by SANDAG and other regional planning agencies.

In addition, the Airport Authority will launch an all-electric shuttle fleet that will carry transit riders to and from the Old Town Transit Center. This service is scheduled to start in mid-2020.

The Airport Authority has also submitted a request to the FAA to approve using airport revenues to help fund off-airport roadway and transit projects to ease access to airport.

In July 2019, the Airport Authority announced an unprecedented 10-year lease agreement with its airline partners that included airline pre-approval of more than $500 million total for off-airport and on-airport transportation improvements.

The ADP is aligned with the City’s Climate Action Plan and will provide expanded electric vehicle charging infrastructure, a bicycle path on Harbor Drive and new incentives to promote alternative commuting habits among employees. The plan also focuses on air quality.

“Our emissions are now among the lowest in the country,” said Kim Becker, President/CEO of the Airport Authority.  “In fact, we are one of only two airports in North America to achieve a carbon neutrality certification under the Airport Carbon Accreditation program.”

The Airport Authority has also completed a plan to address impacts from higher sea levels, more intense rainfall and extreme heat. Part of this plan includes a partnership with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to monitor rising sea levels using advanced sensors in San Diego Bay.

Additionally, there is a plan to expand stormwater systems that provide the ability to capture and reuse more than 39 million gallons of rain annually.

Next steps for the project include federal environmental review and consideration of a Coastal Development permit by the California Coastal Commission.

The goal is to break ground on the new terminal in 2021 and open the first phase (19 gates) in 2024.

SriLankan Airlines clarifies claims on purchases of drinking water (SriLankan Airlines report)

SriLankan Airlines wishes to clarify an erroneous news item with regard to the purchase of drinking water for its valued passengers.The correct facts are as follows. Due to the extensive time taken by cabin crew members to physically pour and serve water to all of the passengers on flights operating on short sectors, most airlines serve either bottled water or pre-cupped water. The size of a cup is dictated by the specifications of the meal tray used on board, and the half-sized meal tray used on SriLankan’s narrow-body fleet, which serve mainly the Middle East and some parts of the Far East, requires a cup of particular dimension to be available

.SriLankan Airlines being a state-own entity follows the Government Procurement Guidelines and the airline placed a tender notice in Sri Lankan newspapers on the 6th and 7th of May 2018, calling for bids from companies in Sri Lanka and overseas to supply the specified item. No offer to provide pre-cupped water manufactured in Sri Lanka was received for these advertisements. Bids were received from UAE based companies and one from a Sri Lanka based company that offered to provide water from Malaysia.

Desirous of providing patronage to Sri Lankan suppliers, the airline then contacted several other water suppliers in Sri Lanka, but none expressed interest, mainly due to the reason that they did not have the required item of pre-cupped water among their products. Therefore, one of the UAE based suppliers was shortlisted as having submitted the most competitive bid and the selection was approved by the relevant Procurement authority.

The cost per pre-cupped water was AED 0.16146, or LKR 6.96 at the applicable exchange rate at the time. Thus, the allegation of purchasing pre-cupped water at the rate of USD 7.80 is incorrect.SriLankan Airlines being a socially responsible organisation has been implementing many green initiatives to minimize damage to the environment and the reduction of the usage of plastics on board is one such initiative. A decision was taken by the management to discontinue pre-cupped water once the stocks in hand were exhausted

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