European Airport Lobby Calls for Preserving Aviation’s Socio-Economic Benefits In 2024 Manifesto: GMBP

Covered in this week’s Green Mobility Policy Brief: Airport industry launches manifesto urging EU transport policy for sustainable and competitive connectivity; Airbus, Avinor, SAS, Swedavia, and Vattenfall join forces to develop hydrogen-powered aviation; and £33 million boost accelerates UK’s green maritime transition.

Airport Industry Launches Manifesto Urging EU Transport Policy for Sustainable and Competitive Connectivity.

ACI EUROPE officially unveiled the airport industry’s Manifesto for the upcoming EU political cycle on January 24, 2024. The launch, attended by key political figures, policymakers, and industry representatives, emphasised the need for a balanced approach to ensure sustainable and competitive air connectivity. Armando Brunini, ACI EUROPE President and CEO of SEA Milan Airports, presented the Manifesto, labelling sustainability and decarbonisation as the “mother of all challenges.” He highlighted the disruptive impact of the EU Fit for 55 regulations, urging the EU to address the associated implementation challenges. The primary focus of the Manifesto is on enabling the decarbonisation of aviation while preserving its socio-economic benefits. The key strategic priorities include effective regulatory and financial support for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production, de-fragmenting Air Traffic Management, abolishing national aviation taxes, preserving regional airports’ viability, and launching an EU Strategy on intermodality. Brunini underscored the importance of safeguarding the Single Aviation Market, calling for a reform of EU airport slot rules and comprehensive aviation agreements with strategic global partners. The Manifesto also emphasises the need for resilient, digitalised, and green airports, addressing the investment crunch faced by Europe’s airports. This involves adhering to the ‘user pays’ principle for airport charges, allowing modulation based on CO2 emissions, and permitting duty-free sales to arriving passengers. In conclusion, Brunini asserted that Europe’s airports, transformed into diversified businesses, play a pivotal role in sustainability and climate action. The Manifesto aims to future-proof the European airport model, ensuring its societal value for passengers, communities, and the planet during the challenging phase of aviation decarbonisation. The industry looks forward to engaging with stakeholders in the coming months to shape the future of European aviation.

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Airbus, Avinor, SAS, Swedavia, and Vattenfall join forces to develop hydrogen-powered aviation.

Airbus, Avinor, SAS, Swedavia, and Vattenfall have joined forces to explore the feasibility of a hydrogen infrastructure at more than 50 airports in Sweden and Norway. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aims to explore the potential of hydrogen-powered aircraft, covering concepts, operations, supply chains, and refuelling needs. This collaborative effort marks the first cross-border feasibility study of its kind. The partnership underscores a commitment to decarbonise the aviation industry and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, emphasised the pivotal role of hydrogen, stating, “Hydrogen stands out as a key enabler as we pioneer a sustainable aviation future.” Norway and Sweden, known for their demanding aviation landscapes, are recognised as having significant potential for hydrogen production from renewable sources. The collaboration also involves identifying the initial airports to transition to hydrogen-powered aircraft and establishing the regulatory framework. Abraham Foss, CEO of Avinor, highlighted Norway’s and Sweden’s positions as early movers in introducing hydrogen aviation, expressing excitement about contributing infrastructure and expertise to the groundbreaking initiative. SAS President & CEO Anko van der Werff emphasised the airline’s responsibility to drive the transition towards net-zero emissions, emphasizing the importance of collaboration in achieving this ambitious goal. Jonas Abrahamsson, Swedavia’s president and CEO, echoed the sentiment, calling the partnership a major step towards fossil-free aviation in the Nordic region. Vattenfall’s President and CEO, Anna Borg, emphasised the significance of enabling industry decarbonisation and contributing expertise in electricity markets, electrical infrastructure, and hydrogen production. This collaborative effort aligns with Airbus’ ZEROe initiative, aiming to introduce the world’s first hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft by 2035, reflecting a global commitment to sustainable aviation practices.

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£33 Million Boost Accelerates UK’s Green Maritime Transition.

UK Maritime Minister Lord Davies unveiled the winners of £33 million in government funding under the fourth round of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC4). The funding aims to advance green technologies for ports and ships, propelling the UK’s efforts to decarbonise the sector while fostering job growth in coastal communities. The funding will be distributed among 33 projects across all 12 regions of the UK, encompassing demonstrations, factory trials, and feasibility studies. This initiative solidifies the UK’s position as a frontrunner in emerging clean maritime technologies, fostering high-skilled jobs and boosting coastal economies nationwide. Lord Davies observed their pioneering electric charge-points and vessels in action during a visit to winning organisations Aqua SuperPower and RS Marine Group in Southampton. These winners will collaborate to enhance existing electric infrastructure, providing electricity to ports, harbours, and the grid during vessel downtime. The CMDC4 focuses on various clean maritime technologies, including electric, hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, and wind power. Lord Davies emphasised the importance of cutting-edge technology and bold investments in steering the maritime industry towards sustainability, creating greener shipping and highly skilled jobs across the UK. The announcement builds on the success of previous rounds, reflecting the strong industry interest in clean maritime investment. Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, applauded the government’s investment in green maritime technology, hailing it as a crucial accelerator for the industry’s journey to net zero emissions. The funding is part of the broader £206 million UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) program, showcasing the government’s multifaceted approach to supporting green technology in the maritime sector.

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