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Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 17-Jun-2021

Analysis

GE Aviation and Safran launch CFM RISE engine development programme

Loganair announces 'GreenSkies' initiative, introduces GBP1 mandatory charge

Perth Airport targets carbon neutrality by 2030

VINCI Airports to operate solar plant at Faro Airport

AEF: Cutting ADP on domestic routes sends the wrong message

This CAPA report features a summary of recent aviation sustainability and environment news, selected from the 300+ news alerts published daily by CAPA. For more information, please contact us.

GE Aviation and Safran launch CFM RISE engine development programme

GE Aviation and Safran launched (14-Jun-2021) the CFM Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines (RISE) programme, an engine technology development effort targeting a greater than 20% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to existing engines.

The partnership will "demonstrate and mature a range of new, disruptive technologies for future engines" that could enter service by the mid 2030s.

The RISE programme includes more than 300 separate component, module and full engine builds, including an open fan architecture and hybrid electric capability.

A demonstrator engine is scheduled to begin testing at GE and Safran facilities in the mid 2020s with a flight test soon after.

The programme will cover alternative energy sources, including 100% sustainable aviation fuel and hydrogen power. [more - original PR]

Original report: GE Aviation and Safran Launch Advanced Technology Demonstration Program for Sustainable Engines; Extend CFM Partnership to 2050

  • CFM RISE* program targets more than 20 percent lower emissions
  • Program will include open fan architecture, hybrid electric capability, demonstrator ground and flight tests around middle of decade
  • 100 percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel, Hydrogen capability in scope

GE Aviation and Safran today launched a bold technology development program targeting more than 20 percent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to today's engines. The CFM RISE (Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines) program will demonstrate and mature a range of new, disruptive technologies for future engines that could enter service by the mid-2030s.

The companies today also signed an agreement extending the CFM International 50/50 partnership to the year 2050, declaring their intent to lead the way for more sustainable aviation in line with the industry's commitment to halve CO2 emissions by 2050.

"The relationship between GE and Safran today is the strongest it has ever been," said John Slattery, President and CEO of GE Aviation. "Together, through the RISE technology demonstration program, we are reinventing the future of flight, bringing an advanced suite of revolutionary technologies to market that will take the next generation of single-aisle aircraft to a new level of fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. We fully embrace the sustainability imperative. As we have always done in the past, we will deliver for the future."

"Our industry is in the midst of the most challenging times we have ever faced," said Olivier Andriès, CEO of Safran. "We have to act now to accelerate our efforts to reduce our impact on the environment. Since the early 1970s, breakthrough engine efficiency and reliability have been the hallmark of our historic partnership and our LEAP engine already reduces emissions by 15 percent compared to previous generation engines. Through the extension of our CFM partnership to 2050, we are today reaffirming our commitment to work together as technology leaders to help our industry meet the urgent climate challenges."

Technologies matured as part of the RISE Program will serve as the foundation for the next-generation CFM engine that could be available by the mid-2030s. The program goals include reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by more than 20 percent compared to today's most efficient engines, as well as ensuring 100 percent compatibility with alternative energy sources such as Sustainable Aviation Fuels and hydrogen.

Central to the program is state-of-the-art propulsive efficiency for the engine, including developing an open fan architecture. This is a key enabler to achieving significantly improved fuel efficiency while delivering the same speed and cabin experience as current single-aisle aircraft. The program will also use hybrid electric capability to optimize engine efficiency while enabling electrification of many aircraft systems.

The program is being led by a joint GE/Safran engineering team that has laid out a comprehensive technology roadmap including composite fan blades, heat resistant metal alloys, ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), hybrid electric capability and additive manufacturing. The RISE program includes more than 300 separate component, module and full engine builds. A demonstrator engine is scheduled to begin testing at GE and Safran facilities around the middle of this decade and flight test soon thereafter.

The original 1974 framework agreement creating CFM International as a 50/50 joint venture between the two aircraft engine manufacturers redefined international cooperation and helped change the course of commercial aviation. The partnership was renewed in 2008 for the launch of the LEAP engine program. Today, CFM is the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines with a product line that serves as the industry benchmark for efficiency, reliability and low overall cost of ownership. More than 35,000 CFM engines have been delivered to more than 600 operators around the globe, accumulating more than one billion flight hours.

* RISE (Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines) is a registered trademark of CFM International.

Loganair announces 'GreenSkies' initiative, introduces GBP1 mandatory charge

Loganair, via its official Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, announced (10-Jun-2021) its 'GreenSkies' initiative as a commitment to carbon neutrality by 2040.

The programme includes immediate action to offset carbon emissions from all services and further investment in new technologies to assist the carrier in reaching its goal.

A GBP1 mandatory 'GreenSkies' charge will be added to all Loganair services, effective 10-Jun-2021.

Perth Airport targets carbon neutrality by 2030

Perth Airport announced (15-Jun-2021) it aims to be carbon neutral by 2030 with a rapid expansion in renewable energy to drive the commitment. The carbon neutral commitment covers the airport's Scope 1 and 2 emissions and is part of a new environment, social, people and governance (ESPG) strategy which sets targets for Perth Airport employees.

Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown stated: "We all need to be a part of the solution", adding: "We believe we can achieve 50 per cent renewable energy across our estate by 2030, involving our tenants and operators".

The airport will consider a mix of energy efficiency measures, two to three large scale renewable energy projects on site and investigate options for off site projects.

Mr Brown added the airport "will deliver major reductions in waste with a cut of 20 per cent in waste to landfill and an increase in recycling of 75 per cent and will ensure our scheme water use remains below 2019 levels by 2030". [more - original PR]

Original report: Perth Airport targets carbon neutral by 2030

Perth Airport has signalled a rapid expansion in renewable energy will drive its new commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030.

The carbon neutral commitment – which covers the airport’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions – is part of a new Environment, Social, People and Governance (ESPG) Strategy which sets ambitious targets for the Perth Airport team.

Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown says the ESPG strategy will build on the airport’s reputation for doing the right thing by the community.

Perth Airport is focussed on delivering economic, social and cultural benefits by keeping the people of Western Australia connected to the rest of the nation and the world,” Mr Brown said. 
“We understand that our impact as an organisation goes way beyond the boundaries of the airport estate.”

This is not a new concept to Perth Airport. In recent years Perth Airport has performed strongly in the internationally recognised GRESB accreditation process which benchmarks the Environmental, Social and Governance performance of infrastructure assets.

“We will continue to build on this foundation and move forward by challenging our team to drive further improvements in all areas of our operations.

“We have emphasised the People element within ESPG to encompass not only our own team but to recognise that we serve the people of Western Australia and look to meet their expectations on responsibly and sustainably managing our operations.

“As a diverse team we reflect the aspirations and needs of the community we serve.”

Mr Brown said Perth Airport is committed to managing and reducing its environmental impact across its 2100ha estate and beyond.

“Climate change is a global challenge which requires us all to act.” Mr Brown said.

“We continue to manage our own carbon emissions through the Airport Carbon Accreditation process run by Airports Council International.

“We all need to be a part of the solution and we are already laying the groundwork that will set us on the path toward our own operations becoming carbon neutral by 2030.”

“We believe we can achieve 50 per cent renewable energy across our estate by 2030, involving our tenants and operators.”

Perth Airport has adopted a ‘no net loss of biodiversity’ commitment for its aviation and development projects and has recommitted to its efforts to preserve the Munday Swamp wetland and indigenous heritage area.

“We will embed sustainability considerations into the design and delivery of all infrastructure projects at Perth Airport by setting minimum requirements in key areas of sustainability,

“We will deliver major reductions in waste with a cut of 20 per cent in waste to landfill and an increase in recycling of 75 per cent and will ensure our scheme water use remains below 2019 levels by 2030.”

Mr Brown said the ESPG targets also reconfirm the airport’s commitment to safety and diversity.

“The safety of our team members, airline partners, tenants, retailers, and everyone who passes through our terminals and broader estate will always be our top priority,” Mr Brown said.

“We continue to aspire to zero injuries, setting standards for safety and driving down lost time injury rates.

“The Perth Airport team has members from all parts of the world who have chosen Perth as their home. We celebrate this diversity and are committed to ensuring our team reflects the broader community.

“We will be working toward introducing a hidden disabilities program for our terminals and other services for people of different abilities.

“We have already had success in supporting majority Aboriginal-owned businesses. Through adoption of special measures in our new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Procurement Policy we will increase the number and value of procurement contracts awarded, and influence workforce participation for First Nations People within our supply chain more broadly.

“We have also joined the global push to end Modern Slavery and will continue to review all of our new contracts and suppliers in light of this commitment.”

More detail on Perth Airports Environmental, Social, People and Governance strategy can be found at Sustainability (perthairport.com.au).

Fast facts:

  • The carbon savings impact of Perth Airport going carbon neutral is equivalent to the annual electricity use emissions of around 5,300 homes.
  • It’s the equivalent of taking 6,300 cars off the road for a year or planting almost 480,000 tree seedlings and growing them for ten years.
  • The airport will look at a mix of energy efficiency measures, two to three large scale renewable energy projects on site and also investigate options for off-site projects.
  • The waste targets mean Perth Airport will cut close to 350 tonnes of waste going to landfill each year and boost recycling by more than 300 tonnes a year.

VINCI Airports to operate solar plant at Faro Airport

VINCI Airports announced (15-Jun-2021) plans to operate a solar plant at Faro Airport. The plant will have capacity of 3MWp and supply the airport with 30% of its electricity, generating annual savings of more than 1500 tonnes of CO2.

VINCI's subsidiary SunMind will finance, develop, build and operate the plant.

The facility, scheduled to commence operations in 2022, will be the first in airport solar plant in Portugal. [more - original PR]

Original report: VINCI Airports welcomes easyJet’s new base at Faro airport and launches first in-airport solar plant

VINCI Airports welcomes easyJet’s new base at Faro airport and launches first in-airport solar plant in Portugal

Pedro Siza Vieira, State Minister of Economy and Digital Transition of Portugal, Pedro Nuno Santos, Minister for Infrastructure and Housing of Portugal, Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions and President of VINCI Airports, concessionaire of ANA, and Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, celebrated today the opening of easyJet’s new base and the launch of Faro airport’s solar plant, the first in-airport solar plant in Portugal.

The base is a new illustration of VINCI Airports’ commitment towards Portugal and the Algarve region. Thanks to the 32.8M€ modernization program it delivered at Faro airport, VINCI Airports has been strongly enhancing the airport’s attractiveness towards airlines and passengers, since the beginning of the concession. The airport has become a central element in Algarve’s tourism strategy and a key asset for the future, as Portugal is preparing for the recovery of tourism. The opening of this base, which is the result of a joint effort between easyJet, VINCI Airports and the Portuguese tourism authorities, will contribute to keep opening new routes in Faro
  
VINCI Airports also gives new momentum to its partnership with the Algarve region by launching Faro airport’s solar plant. It will have a capacity of 3 MWp and will supply Faro airport with 30% of its electricity needs, generating an annual saving equivalent to more than 1,500 tons of CO2. The solar plant is financed, developed, built and will be operated by VINCI Airports through its photovoltaic subsidiary SunMind. It will be operational in 2022. 
  
By choosing Faro as the first in-airport solar plant in Portugal, VINCI Airports takes a new step towards the realization of its environmental action plan in the Algarve region. Since the beginning of the concession, 
VINCI Airports has been activating partnerships with local environmental organizations such as the Center for Marine Sciences of the University of Algarve, to foster knowledge on the region’s fauna and flora. VINCI Airports has already achieved a -13% decrease in carbon emissions of the country’s airports network between 2018 and 2020. 
  
The new solar plant in Faro is part of a global action plan deployed by VINCI Airports across all its 45 airports in 12 countries, with similar projects already deployed or in development in the Dominican Republic, Brazil, the UK, Serbia, Sweden, France and now Portugal
  
Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions and President of VINCI Airports, declared: "VINCI Airports is proud to be launching a new phase in Faro airport’s development today, alongside the Portuguese authorities. Together, we are placing the recovery of Portugal’s tourism under the banner of environmental progress”. 
  
VINCI Airports, the leading private airport operator in the world, manages 45 airports in 12 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. We harness our expertise as a comprehensive integrator to develop, finance, build and operate airports, while leveraging our investment capability and expertise in optimising operational performance, modernising infrastructure and driving environmental transition. VINCI Airports became the first airport operator to start rolling out an international environmental strategy, in 2016, with a view to achieving net zero emissions throughout its network by 2050.

AEF: Cutting ADP on domestic routes sends the wrong message

Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) issued (16-Jun-2021) a response to the UK Government's consultation on aviation tax reform.

AEF stated the consultation primarily focused on the UK Government's proposal to reduce air passenger duty (APD) rates on domestic routes and it was "implied – but not stated – that any losses would be balanced out with increased costs on some international routes".

AEF expressed its opposition to any reduction in taxes "for an already under-taxed industry", which "pays no fuel duty or VAT on tickets".

The body said APD is "already too low to ensure that airlines make a fair contribution to public finances" and the UK Government "should be looking at tax increases, not decreases, we argue, particularly given that flights are disproportionately taken by people on higher incomes".

The AEF suggested alternatives to lowering APD that could help address the Government's concern about differential treatment for flights between the UK and Belfast compared with flights to Dublin:

  • Retaining the current rate for all domestic journeys but increasing it for international routes;
  • Retaining the current rate for all domestic journeys that cannot feasibly be made by rail, but increasing it for international routes;
  • Retaining the current rate for domestic journeys, but providing relief from other taxes such as future carbon charges for domestic air journeys powered by renewable energy. [more - original PR]

Excerpt from original report: Cutting Tax on Domestic Routes Which Have Reasonable Lower Carbon Alternatives Sends the Wrong Message

AEF has responded to the government consultation on aviation tax reform which closed on Monday 14th June. The consultation primarily focused on the Government’s proposal to reduce air passenger duty (APD) rates on domestic routes. It was implied – but not stated – that any losses would be balanced out with increased costs on some international routes.

Cutting Tax on Domestic Routes Which Have Reasonable Lower Carbon Alternatives Sends the Wrong Message on Climate
AEF expresses opposition to any reduction in taxes for an already under-taxed industry. For an industry which pays no fuel duty or VAT on tickets, APD is already too low to ensure that airlines make a fair contribution to public finances. Government should be looking at tax increases, not decreases, we argue, particularly given that flights are disproportionately taken by people on higher incomes. 

Whilst we acknowledge that domestic aviation is responsible for only a small proportion of total aviation emissions, AEF highlights that lowering APD on domestic routes signals that the Government is not taking the climate crisis seriously. It gives the wrong public message when there is a unique window of opportunity for the Government to influence behaviour post-pandemic, and in the run up to the UK hosting the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 later this year. Such cuts should not be considered, we argue, in the absence of the Government’s net zero aviation policy consultation, which is yet to be published. 

We also express concern about the local environmental impacts, including noise and air pollution. This could increase as a result of encouraging people to fly domestically through lower taxes. Domestic flights will also overfly more people per kilometre flown than international flights, we highlight.

Alternatives to lowering APD that could help address the Government’s concern about differential treatment for flights between the UK and Belfast compared with flights to Dublin, AEF suggests, could include:

  • Retaining the current rate for all domestic journeys but increasing it for international routes;
  • Retaining the current rate for all domestic journeys that cannot feasibly be made by rail (e.g. if the rail journey can be made in a given time limit) but increasing it for international routes;
  • Retaining the current rate for domestic journeys, but providing relief from other taxes such as future carbon charges for domestic air journeys powered by renewable energy.

Since the primary purpose of APD is to help ensure that the industry contributes to public finances, the Government should consider options for carbon charging, in addition to APD, our response concludes. Such charges could include: a new charge to allow Government to invest in carbon removal technologies; a levy to close the gap between the level of carbon pricing anticipated outside Europe compared with those that will be covered by the UK or EU Emissions Trading Schemes; or new taxes that increase with the number of miles flown or flights taken. A reduced rate of any carbon charge could be levied on any flights using a zero-carbon form of energy. 

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