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Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 23-Sep-2021

Analysis

easyJet issues recommendations to governments to aid transition towards zero emission flying

Delta Air Lines joins three sustainability coalitions

Budapest Airport to implement sustainable projects worth EUR1.5m as part of STARGATE initiative

Airbus, Air Liquide and VINCI Airports announce plans for distribution of liquid hydrogen from 2030

CAPA chairman emeritus: SAFs 'need incentives from governments'

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.

easyJet issues recommendations to governments to aid transition towards zero emission flying

easyJet issued (21-Sep-2021) the following recommendations to governments to aid the industry's transition towards zero emission flying:

  • Support the development of zero emission aircraft;
  • Use revenue from aviation taxes to fund R&D into hydrogen technology;
  • Support the development of hydrogen supply and infrastructure at airports;
  • Invest in renewable energy to support creation of green hydrogen for aviation;
  • Incentivise the development and growth of zero emission technology, including;
    • Tax exemptions for zero emission aircraft;
    • Modulation of airspace charges to incentivise early adopters of hydrogen powered aircraft;
    • Peak slot prioritisation at primary airports for airlines flying hydrogen powered aircraft;
    • Cost reduction of airport charges for zero emission aircraft.

CEO Johan Lundgren said zero emission flight is "within reach", provided governments "champion" financial and regulatory support for green technologies and investments in zero emission aircraft. [more - original PR]

Original report: easyJet urges industry and government collaboration to make zero-emission flights a reality

easyJet urges industry and government collaboration to make zero-emission flights a reality

  • Net zero emissions from flights can be achieved through joint, coordinated and decisive industry and government efforts
  • Governments should provide incentives for future early adopters of zero-emission technology to help accelerate the transition to net zero at scale

  • In the meantime,  governments should deliver on objectives for the Single European Sky and formally recognise offsetting – both is something that can have an impact right now

  • easyJet is committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and actively contributing to the goals set in the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement through a number of actions

easyJet is today urging industry and government to work closely together to deliver on the zero-emission technology needed to transform the industry over the coming decade and beyond.

Speaking from Toulouse at the Airbus Summit, easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren, will say that the vision of zero-emission flying can only be brought ever-closer through coordinated action which should focus efforts on some key areas.

Firstly, governments need to support the development of hydrogen supply and infrastructure at airports alongside investments into renewable energy to support the creation of green hydrogen for aviation.

Secondly, governments will not only need to provide financial incentives to support the development and scaling up of zero-emission technology but also should be ploughing funds raised through aviation taxes into the R&D that is required.

Thirdly, airlines choosing to become early adopters of the new technology should be incentivised through reduced airspace and airport charges and also provided with tax exemptions if they are operating zero-emission aircraft and be prioritised for airport slots. 

Lastly, easyJet has identified the priority need to make sure the right framework is in place to ensure progress and support for widespread adoption of zero-emission aircraft where these are feasible, such as on short-haul networks. easyJet will be using SAF in the interim, but the company believes the most sustainable long-term solution for a short-haul carrier are zero-emission aircraft.

easyJet has worked in partnership with Airbus since 2019 to support the development of a hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft by 2035. A crucial part of easyJet’s role has been to work with the manufacturer to provide a commercial airline’s perspective in the development of new zero-emission propulsion technologies for passenger planes.

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said:

“This is an exciting time for the industry where true zero-emission flight is within reach. Hydrogen and electric powered aircraft are already flying, with companies like Airbus committed to scaling the technology for commercial flights and aiming for entry into service in the 2030s. So, we all need to play our role to ensure that the infrastructure is ready for these exciting new aircraft.

“But the industry can’t do it alone. We need governments to help the industry meet ambitious emissions reduction goals by championing financial and regulatory support for green technologies and investments in zero-emission aircraft. We stand ready to work with our partners and the wider industry to help deliver a more sustainable future for the industry.

“The benefits of aviation are unparalleled in terms of connecting people, reuniting friends and family, enabling people to experience different cultures as well as providing for economic prosperity. We’re committed to ensuring a sustainable future of aviation for the benefit of the people and our planet.”

Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, said:

"Pioneering sustainable aerospace is a collective undertaking. It's great to see so many partners and customers join us this week for our first-ever Airbus Summit, as we explore the innovations transforming our industry and federate partners across the sector to make sustainable aerospace a reality.

"I can only welcome easyJet's call for a strong collaboration between industry and governments as we establish our collective path to net-zero. As an early partner on our journey towards hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft, easyJet is playing an active role in shaping the future of flight and we are committed to our continued partnership in this field."


easyJet is committed to reaching the EU target of net zero emissions by 2050. Making flying more sustainable is something easyJet has long prioritised – from being the only major European carrier carbon offsetting on behalf of all its customers, while proactively working alongside industry leaders, such as Airbus, to champion zero-emission technologies for passenger planes of the future. The airline operates Airbus NEO aircraft, which are 15 per cent more fuel-efficient than the planes they replace, and they continue to join easyJet’s fleet, making it one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in Europe.

The airline is also constantly striving in its everyday operations to reduce fuel consumption, with single-engine taxiing on departure and arrival and the use of advanced weather information to improve navigation performance. These efforts mean that, since 2000, easyJet has reduced its carbon emissions per passenger kilometre efficiency by more than a third.

Beyond carbon, easyJet is focusing on reducing plastic – in 2020, more than 27 million single-use plastic items were eliminated – as well as reducing waste within its wider operations and the supply chain.  For instance, the airline also recently introduced new crew uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles. Forty-five bottles go into each outfit – with the potential to prevent 2.7 million plastic bottles from ending up in landfill or in oceans over the next five years. The garments are fashioned from a high-tech material that is made using renewable energy sources and has a 75 per cent lower carbon footprint than traditional polyester.

So, in addition to the actions easyJet is taking, the following will be needed from governments to make zero-emission flying a reality:

Investing and supporting the development of new technology now: 

  •     Support for the development of zero-emission aircraft (ensuring that the current focus on SAF is not at the expense of zero-emission technology)
  •    Revenue raised from aviation taxes should be used to help fund R&D into hydrogen technology
  •    Support for the development of hydrogen supply and infrastructure at airports
  •   Make investments into renewable energy (wind, solar etc.) to support the creation of green hydrogen for aviation
  •   Ensuring there are incentives for the adoption of new technology in the future:
  •   Provide financial incentives to support the development and growth of zero-emission technology, including:
    • Tax exemptions for zero-emission aircraft
    • Airspace charges should be modulated to incentivise early adopters of hydrogen powered aircraft
    • Slot priority – airlines which fly hydrogen powered aircraft should be prioritised for peak slots at primary airports
    • Cost reduction of airport charges for zero-emission aircraft

And in the meantime:

  • It is crucial the European Commission and national governments deliver on objectives for the Single European Sky. Allowing airlines to fly more direct routes could reduce European aviation’s emissions by up to 11 per cent
  • Offsets should be formally recognised – as an interim step until new technologies are available at scale – this is something all carriers can start doing today
  • And finally, we need all carriers to take part in decarbonisation, not just those flying short-haul or those flying intra-EEA. This means including long haul flights in policies such as the Emissions Trading System (ETS), the EU's proposed fuel tax, and any SAF mandates. We need to have equal treatment, and make sure we all play our part in reducing aviation’s impact, especially the long-haul flights responsible for most of the emissions*

Delta Air Lines joins three sustainability coalitions

Delta Air Lines announced (22-Sep-2021) plans to join the following coalitions as part of its commitment towards net zero aviation: 

  • LEAF Coalition: Brings together public and private action to accelerate efforts to reduce and end tropical deforestation by 2030. Delta may purchase high quality carbon credits;
  • Clean Skies for Tomorrow: Under the World Economic Forum, the coalition unites global groups of airlines, airports, fuel suppliers and other industry stakeholders to accelerate the supply and use of sustainable aviation fuel;
  • Race to Zero: Under the UN led alliance, Delta has committed to setting net zero 2050 and interim goals through Science Based Targets initiative for its airline operations, in line with the climate science underpinning the Paris Agreement.

Delta Air Lines MD sustainability Amelia DeLuca stated: "The only real way for us to impact climate change is for everyone to align behind a net-zero emissions goal". [more - original PR]

Original report: Delta joins coalitions driving net-zero future

Bolstering its commitment to a future of net-zero aviation, Delta is joining three key coalitions of investors, suppliers, competitors and industry champions to drive real impact for the planet.

The carrier, the first to make its airline carbon neutral on a global basis, is taking part in the Race to Zero initiative; the LEAF Coalition, as the first airline; and World Economic Forum's Clean Skies for Tomorrow Ambition Statement, as a steering committee member. These partnerships build significant momentum toward a more sustainable future.

"The only real way for us to impact climate change is for everyone to align behind a net-zero emissions goal," said Amelia DeLuca, Delta's managing director of sustainability. "These coalitions unite resources, investments and minds to collectively work towards sustainable aviation, where our customers do not have to choose between seeing the world and saving it."

Each of these coalitions builds on Delta's vision for a net-zero aviation future:

  • LEAF Coalition: Tropical deforestation contributes approximately three times more global carbon emissions than the aviation industry. In 2020, 12 percent more tropical forest was lost due to deforestation than in 2019. Delta has entered into a letter of intent by which it will be the first airline and first organization in the "hard to abate" sector to join the LEAF Coalition, which brings together public and private action to accelerate efforts to reduce and end tropical deforestation by 2030. By joining LEAF, Delta may purchase high-quality carbon credits to support its continuing commitment to be a carbon-neutral airline operation from March 2020 onward –​ today, tomorrow and for years to come.
  • Clean Skies for Tomorrow: This coalition, under the World Economic Forum, unites global groups of airlines, airports, fuel suppliers and other industry stakeholders to accelerate the supply and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which can reduce lifecycle carbon emissions up to 80 percent compared with conventional jet fuel. As a steering committee member, Delta – which has committed to 10 percent SAF use by the end of 2030 – will help foster and develop the SAF market to ensure future production meets growing demand for sustainable fuel.
  • Race to Zero: Delta has signed the Race to Zero, a United Nations-led alliance.As part of Race to Zero, Delta has committed to setting net zero 2050 and interim goals through Science Based Targets initiative for its airline operations, in line with the climate science underpinning the Paris Agreement. Delta will celebrate this significant milestone, which it signed with the support of Global Citizen, on Sept. 25 at Global Citizen Live.

Budapest Airport to implement sustainable projects worth EUR1.5m as part of STARGATE initiative

Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport announced (21-Sep-2021) plans to implement sustainability initiatives worth EUR1.5 million as part of its membership of the STARGATE environmental consortium.

The European Union will provide EUR1.1 million towards the projects, which include the creation of a cloud based cargo handling system and other initiatives around the terminal, energy efficiency and traffic developments.

Other members of the consortium include Brussels Airport, Athens International Airport, Toulouse Blagnac Airport and 18 non airport organisations.

As previously reported by CAPA, the European Commission approved EUR24.8 million in funding for the consortium in May-2021. [more - original PR]

Original report: Innovative and important sustainability initiatives to be developed at Budapest Airport as part of the STARGATE project

Budapest Airport is a member of the consortium which won nearly 25 million euros of support from the European Commission, as part of a sustainability project called STARGATE. As part of the project, Budapest Airport can implement developments to a value of 1.53 million euros, 70% of which (1.07 million euros) is provided by the European Union, with the rest funded by Budapest Airport. The airport operator’s task will be to develop and put in place a cloud-based, paper-free air cargo handling system, together with other sustainable projects concerning mainly the terminal, energy efficiency and traffic developments.

Continuously reducing carbon emissions is a key pillar of Budapest Airport’s sustainability efforts. In recognition of this, it has been awarded ACI’s carbon neutral certification for the fourth year running. In line with its objectives, the operator of Budapest Airport thus joined a consortium consisting of Brussels Airport, Athens Airport and Toulouse Airport, along with 18 other non-airport members, which submitted a successful EU funding application dedicated to tackling sustainability in the aviation sector. Following several months of preparatory work, the contract between the consortium and the European Commission was signed on 6 September 2021.

The consortium, comprising the above airports, as well as companies, government bodies, scientific and research institutions, participated in the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 framework program with a project entitled STARGATE (SusTainable AiRports, the Green heArT of Europe), and emerged as a winner from 16 entrants. Consortia were invited to submit proposals, to contribute innovative solutions to the European Commission's Green Deal, a long-term scheme aimed at carbon neutrality and a greener Europe.

STARGATE’s mission is to develop, test and implement innovative solutions which make the airport ecosystem significantly more sustainable. It will offer specific, short and medium-term green solutions for European airports at the level of day-to-day operations, thus creating smart, multimodal transport hubs and setting an example for other airports in Europe and beyond. Such green solutions include, for example, the development of digital twin technology, which is able to map operational processes by generating 3D models of airports, based on which new objectives, called “Bold 2050 Vision”, are defined. Another flagship solution is the creation of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), for which economic analyses and business models will be prepared, which can later be customized by the airports, in line with their own needs. Other initiatives include the development and implementation of a cloud-based, paper-free air cargo handling system, together with other sustainable projects concerning mainly the terminal, energy efficiency and traffic developments.

Joining the STARGATE project is only one among numerous efforts Budapest Airport has undertaken for the sake of a sustainable future. In 2019, the airport operator joined ACI’s NetZero by 2050 initiative; however, it has set itself an even more ambitious target: it plans to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions to zero much sooner than 2050, with the creation of a detailed net zero roadmap, currently under preparation. To this end, it uses more and more of the latest technologies and energy-efficient solutions, such as modern insulation and heating systems, LED lights, solar panels, as well as electric or hybrid vehicles and ground service equipment. Thus, in ten years, the airport operator managed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per passenger to nearly one-third of what it used to be. Budapest Airport is not alone in environmentally conscious operation; its Greenairport program now involves more than 40 organizations operating at the airport, working together to reduce the airport’s environmental impacts. This is and will continue to be a major focus for Budapest Airport over the coming decade, as it races to net zero.

Airbus, Air Liquide and VINCI Airports announce plans for distribution of liquid hydrogen from 2030

Airbus, Air Liquide and VINCI Airports entered (21-Sep-2021) a partnership to promote the use of hydrogen at airports and support European airports in accommodating future hydrogen aircraft.

Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport, VINCI Airports' centre of excellence for innovation, will host the first hydrogen installations as early as 2023. Implementation will take place in the following stages:

  •  2023: Hydrogen gas distribution station to supply the airport ground and nearby heavy goods vehicles;
  • 2023-2030: Deployment of liquid hydrogen infrastructures to provision future aircraft; 
  • Beyond 2030: Increase to mass distribution of liquid hydrogen at the airport. [more - original PR]

Original report: Airbus, Air Liquide and VINCI Airports announce a partnership to promote the use of hydrogen and accelerate the decarbonization of the aviation sector 

Airbus, Air Liquide and VINCI Airports, three major players in the aviation, hydrogen and airport industries, are working together to promote the use of hydrogen at airports and build the European airport network to accommodate future hydrogen aircrafts. The airport of Lyon-Saint Exupéry (France) will host the first installations as early as 2023. This partnership reflects the three groups’ shared ambition to combine their respective expertise to support the decarbonization of air travel.

Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (VINCI Airports’ center of excellence for innovation) has been chosen as the pilot airport by the partners. The implementation of this project includes several phases:

  • From 2023: deployment of a hydrogen gas distribution station at Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport. This station will supply both the airport’s ground vehicles (airside buses, trucks, handling equipment, etc.) and those of its partners, as well as the heavy goods vehicles that drive around the airport. This first phase is essential to test the airport’s facilities and dynamics as a “hydrogen hub” in its area of reach.
  • Between 2023 and 2030: deployment of liquid hydrogen infrastructures that will allow hydrogen to be provisioned into the tanks of future aircraft.
  • Beyond 2030: deployment of the hydrogen infrastructure from production to mass distribution of liquid hydrogen at the airport.

By 2030, the three partners will study the possibility of equipping VINCI Airports’ European airport network with the hydrogen production, storage and supply facilities needed for use on the ground and on board aircraft.

This partnership illustrates the partners’ shared commitment to decarbonizing air travel and is a major step forward for the development of hydrogen across the airport ecosystem. It relies on the know-how of Airbus in commercial aircraft, on Air Liquide’s expertise in mastering the entire hydrogen value chain (production, liquefaction, storage and distribution) and on the global reach of VINCI Airports, the leading private airport operator with 45 airports in 12 countries, which will help create the desired network.

CAPA chairman emeritus: SAFs 'need incentives from governments'

CAPA - Centre for Aviation chairman emeritus Peter Harbison, speaking at CAPA Live September 2021, stated (08-Sep-2021) sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) "need incentives from governments".

Mr Harbison added: "They need incentives to be investing in a very, very expensive process" of trialling SAF and "making adaptations to…the whole operation to absorb them", noting it will take "many years" to get to 50% to 80% of usage. 

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