The Role of Eco-Friendly Ground Services and Facilities in Sustainable Airports
While you may not instantly associate airports with sustainability, it’s an area that’s set to grow. Amidst ever-increasing discussions around climate change, there’s a clear need for airports and airlines to step up their game and play a part in mitigating their impacts.
In line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), companies and entire nations are setting their own goals in a bid to push this societal shift in the right direction.While it’s an evolving process, good progress has been made already – and with a little more time, many of these innovations will be rolled out at a wider scale.
The importance of sustainable airports
The aviation industry is amongst the most polluting industries, which is why it’s so important that sustainable aircraft technology continues to be developed. But it shouldn’t stop there, airports themselves are in a position to make a difference by refining their ground services and facilities to reduce their carbon footprint.
Ground services refer to the presence of customer service agents, chauffeur-driven car services, check-in services, flight dispatchers and more to ensure passengers have everything in place ready for the flight. Many of these activities can be carbon-intensive in traditional airports.
Eco-friendly ground services
Eco-friendly ground services would involve simple switches to help the planet. Think electric ground support equipment (GSE) and efficient waste management that reduces the amount of waste produced. On top of this, sustainable fuel options can also help to reduce any impacts.
BREEAM and CEEQUAL certifications can be used to signal ESG efforts too. On top of environmental benefits, adopting eco-friendly ground services can also lead to savings on operational costs.
What can airlines do to be more eco–friendly?
Sustainable fuel, such as biofuel, is an innovation that only select airlines have adopted so far. If you’re renting a private jet, it may be worth choosing and airline provider who uses sustainable fuel in a bid to make a difference.
Plus, fuel-efficient aircraft are crucial to reducing the amountof emissions generated. Even the type of materials used can impact the weight of the aircraft and therefore the amount of emissions released. The lighter the materials, the more impact this will have. And finally, initiating carbon offsetting programs can help to minimize the effects.
Looking to the future, many exciting avenues can help airlines achieve more sustainable flying methods. The likes of hydrogen-powered engines and even electric-powered short-haul aircraft are being proposed. Updated wing designs can also be used to reduce drag.
Another issue is that the number of people that board the flight makes the journey far less efficient. Some aircraft are also being designed to accommodate more passengers, so that less flights need to take place