Going Green

Hamburg Airport’s use of alternative energy vehicles enabled it to win this year’s Green Fleet Award. (Flughafen Hamburg)

Hamburg Airport’s use of alternative energy vehicles enabled it to win this year’s Green Fleet Award. (Flughafen Hamburg)

Hamburg Airport wins Green Fleet Award 2012
In October Hamburg Airport won the Green Fleet Award for companies “with innovative ideas and game-changing approaches to fleet management.”  The award was established by the Fleet Company, a subsidiary of TÜV-Süd in Munich.  Hamburg Airport won because of its deployment of natural gas and electric vehicles, which has resulted in a significant improvement to the airport fleet’s energy balance.
Michael Eggenschwiler, Chief Executive Officer at Hamburg Airport, commented: “Aviation is one of the most innovative industries when it comes to environmental protection.  Baggage tugs and buses operating on our aprons are powered by biogas, electricity and hydrogen.  This has put a significant brake on the emission of CO2.  The Green Fleet Award is both recognition and motivation for us!”
Hamburg Airport maintains a fleet of around 400 vehicles, including 81 cars, 145 commercial vehicles and around 170 special vehicles, such as aircraft towing trucks, baggage tugs, fork lift trucks, hoist platforms and sweepers.  Trials of alternative power sources at Hamburg Airport began in 2005 with the development of a natural gas-powered tug prototype.  This was used, amongst other things, to transport baggage trailers from aircraft to the baggage cellars, and was first deployed at Hamburg Airport.  The trial was successful and since 2007 the entire fleet of tugs, currently consisting of 42 vehicles, has been powered exclusively by natural gas.  A further source of emissions at the airport is represented by the buses used to transport passengers to remote aircraft parking positions and for shuttle services to the more remote car parks.  In order to achieve climate-friendly passenger transport, a total of eight natural gas-powered buses have been in operation since February 2011.  By 2015 the entire bus fleet will have been converted to this low-pollutant technology.
(Flughafen Hamburg)

“The primary goal in the use of natural gas as a fuel is the reduction of the greenhouse gas CO2 along with other pollutant emissions such as nitric oxide, soot particles and unburned hydrocarbons,” says Wolfgang Schümann, responsible for all alternative fuel projects at Hamburg Airport’s Environmental Protection Centre.  “Hamburg Airport primarily used diesel-powered vehicles, which we have been able to replace with natural gas-powered vehicles, resulting in a CO2 saving of around 12% to date.  Furthermore, the airport’s own natural gas refuelling station has used, for the most part, biogas since January 1, 2010, resulting in a saving of 65% of CO2 emissions, representing 527 tonnes per year.”
The proportion of biogas, certified by TÜV-Nord, has also been increased.
Swedavia is Carbon Neutral
On October 10, Sweden’s national airport group Swedavia announced that it had become the world’s first national airport group to achieve carbon neutrality across its suite of ten airports.
The airports in question collectively welcome more than 31 million passengers a year.  In order to attain the ‘Neutrality’ certification within the independently-run Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme, they have had to reduce their own CO2 emissions, encourage others at their airports to reduce their CO2 and finally, purchase carbon offsets for any remaining CO2 emissions under their control.
Torborg Chetkovich, CEO of Swedavia AB, commented: “Today’s achievement is an important acknowledgement that we operate resource efficient airports.  At the end of the day, this means that we are able to make the most of our capacity as well as offering our customers more opportunities in order to develop airline connections to, from and within Sweden.”
Initially launched in Europe in June 2009, the independent, institutionally endorsed voluntary programme Airport Carbon Accreditation certifies airports at one of four available levels of certification (‘Mapping’, ‘Reduction’, ‘Optimisation’ and ‘Neutrality’).
Currently, 67 airports handling over 53% of European passenger traffic each year are Airport Carbon Accredited.  In November 2011, the programme expanded to the Asia-Pacific region, also gaining the support of ICAO.  Currently, five airports in Asia-Pacific are accredited.  Other European airports which have achieved ‘Neutrality’ include Avinor’s Oslo & Trondheim in Norway and Milan’s Malpensa & Linate, operated by SEA Milan Airports.


First for Schiphol
Following a recent successful trial, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has decided it will start using electric buses to transport passengers to and from their aircraft from 2014.
Schiphol is the first airport in the world to move to electric passenger transport on the airport apron.  There will be a European tender for the purchase of 35 buses.
This summer Schiphol successfully ran trials with two electric buses as a step towards reducing its CO2 emissions.  As a result, electric buses will play a part in making transport at the airport more sustainable.
On October 26 the Schiphol Group issued a statement saying: “Corporate responsibility is key to business operations at Schiphol.  In order to maintain its position as ‘Europe’s Preferred Airport’, Schiphol is taking responsibility for climate friendly aviation, accessibility and air quality.  This means reducing CO2 emissions at the airport and actively contributing to cleaner transport to, from and at the airport.