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What Does COP25 And The European Green Deal Mean For the Aviation Industry?

What Does COP25 And The European Green Deal Mean For the Aviation Industry?

“Time for Action Is Now.”

That was the official slogan of COP25, the UN Climate Change Conference that recently took place in Madrid.

Attended by over 27,000 delegates from almost 200 Governments around the world, the goal was to reach a mutual agreement on how each nation could reduce their emissions. Agreeing on the specifics of Article 6 in the Paris Agreement proved to be tougher than expected. The negotiations failed and the 12 day meeting ended without an agreement. All eyes will be on COP26 which takes place next year in Glasgow.

Failing to reach a broad sweeping agreement did not mean the event was a total failure. In fact, the International Chamber of Commerce, Perlin and AirCarbon formed a partnership to tackle the challenge of reducing the worldwide aviation emissions. This initiative aims to raise “USD $40 billion in funding for climate projects and offset more than 2.6 billion tonnes of C02 emissions between 2021 and 2035.” According to Air Transport Action Group, the aviation industry is responsible for approximately 2% of human induced CO2 emissions.

This comes at the same time as the European Green Deal is being discussed. This legislation aims to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050. According to their website, this “should enable European citizens and businesses to benefit from sustainable green transition.” To achieve this goal, there would need to be a 90% reduction in transport emissions by the year 2050.

The need to take climate change action has become important across all industries.

However, it’s important to acknowledge the ongoing commitment and cooperation from the aviation sector towards reducing their carbon footprint and creating a healthier, more sustainable planet.

More than 65 million jobs worldwide are reliant on aviation and related tourism. There are large amounts of economic and social benefits being delivered by the industry, the big decision makers need to be sensitive to the needs of people who rely on the industry for their well-being (and often the well-being of their families too).

Here is how we think the COP25 negotiations and the European Green Deal will change the aviation industry landscape.

Airports will become more efficient

The airports of tomorrow will look more at green eco-friendly solutions to power their operations. Some airports are already implementing full scale initiatives to save and recycle water. Waste separation schemes that separate plastic, glass, cans and bins might be rolled out. Mowed grass could even be used for feed, as it is at Kansai Airports.

 Aircraft will be more environmentally friendly

Planes will continue to become more fuel efficient. There will be more direct flight paths to destinations. Bio-fuel options might be a mainstay. Engineering innovation will also help reduce the surrounding air pollution and noise pollution from take offs and landings.

Initiatives like Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) will increase in size and scope

This initiative group was formed to help airports manage, reduce and neutralise their carbon footprint. There are four levels of certification; mapping, reduction, optimisation and neutrality. An airport must have their carbon footprints independently verified to join. The top level of certification is having an airport that has completely carbon neutral operations by offsetting all of its emissions.

With a large reduction needed in the carbon footprint of domestic and international travel, we foresee more initiatives like this getting rolled out across airports all around the world. Currently, 290+ airports are signed up to this program. We foresee this number increasing markedly between now and 2050.

Envisa is proud to help businesses in the aviation industry become carbon neutral. Formed in 2004, we are a consulting firm specialising in aviation and sustainability.

If you’d like to find out more about how we could work with you,

give us a call today on +33 1 71 19 45 80

or send us a quick email on info@env-isa.com

 

ATM4E – A Concept for Multi-Criteria Environmental Assessment of Aircraft Trajectories

ATM4E – A Concept for Multi-Criteria Environmental Assessment of Aircraft Trajectories

Few months ago, we were pleased to announce that Envisa was part of the ATM4E project, an exploratory research project within the SESAR 2020 programme that started in May 2016.

Within a consortium of six participants, the project’s main objective is to explore the feasibility of a concept for environmental assessment of ATM operations working towards environmental optimisation of air traffic operations in the European airspace.

This time, we are happy to share with you the paper recently published and related to an environmentally-optimized ATM network.

Want to know more? Take a look on the paper published on 1st of August “A Concept for Multi-Criteria Environmental Assessment of Aircraft Trajectories“.

 

Airport Success Through Community Engagement

Airport Success Through Community Engagement

Future growth of the aviation sector (including necessary new infrastructure) and environmental sustainability are inextricably linked and mutually dependent.

Airports act as engines of social and economic growth and the direct and indirect benefits linked to their operation are considerable and in many cases airport growth is seen as a nationally or regionally vital strategic asset.

The number of flights in Europe has increased between 1990 and 2014 by about 80%[1] and is steadily growing. However, there is a variety of adverse environmental and health impacts associated with the operation of airports that may be considered material especially for residents of communities in the vicinity of airports and the surrounding ecosystems.

The management of an airport’s interface and the relations with local people is of vital importance to each and every aviation stakeholder – and not just the airport operator.

 Gaining wide community support for the benefits that growth would bring is essential in determining an airport’s future. It is in fact widely recognized that the perception of an airport’s surrounding communities can significantly affect an airport’s throughput, capacity-use, growth and operational efficiency and hence the positive sustainability impacts that a successful airport brings.

Some airport operators have actively engaged with surrounding communities over many years – and yet the attitude of the local community can still appear to be generally negative. For example, according to EEA’s NOISE Observation & Information Service for Europe[2], the overall exposure to airport noise in Europe is less than for other transport sources. However, the annoyance experienced by people exposed to noise from this source is greater than for any other.

It is in fact rather easy for an airport to develop a reactive and rather negative relationship with the surrounding communities, despite their best efforts:

  • Denying there is an issue – or relying solely on ‘artificial’ noise metrics to prove low-impact
  • Operating on a ‘them-and-us’ basis or relying on politically appointed intermediaries
  • Building unrealistic public expectations and then losing trust because the solution slightly misses the over-ambitious promised mark
  • Becoming the public apologist and shield between the public and the aviation community instead of sharing the public platform and presenting externally as a united entity
  • Reactively dealing with complaints, making excuses, trying to sell a marginal offset of adverse impacts as a positive step.
  • Not stepping outside the safety of the airport perimeter fence

The above approach, whilst understandable, tends towards a negative character – minimise, reduce, excuse, avoid, constrain, penalise, etc.

Adopting a more holistic and positive approach can strengthen an airport’s position as a good corporate citizen and neighbor and can prove to be mutually beneficial for both the airport and the local community.

 Many successful airports have developed a more proactive approach to dealing effectively with community relations issues, which can include:

  • Jointly establishing collaborative operational/commercial stakeholder processes to develop mitigation and to jointly engage with the wider public.
  • Establishing a community partnership approach bringing local people inside the perimeter fence to see what is going on – and what limitations apply.
  • In partnership with aviation and external stakeholders, establish outreach centres in local communities to enter a dialogue outside of the perimeter fence.
  • Working with amenity groups and public authorities developing a joint approach to optimise the future development of the airport.
  • Fund independent audits (to be supervised externally) to validate sustainability performance and public reporting
  • Conducting social surveys to ensure that the true local attitude is understood by decision makers
  • Funding the independent quantification of the positive contributions of the airport to sustainability and ensuring that local people are aware of these.
  • Targeting the positive impacts on local people to the extent possible:
    • Establish partnerships with academia, business and the airport supply chain to optimise local economic and employment benefits and to enhance the development of local skills
    • Bringing the airport supply chain to local areas in need of economic development
    • Community sponsorship and targeted employment
    • Developing and maintaining public amenities on airport land
  • Funding independently produced educational packs for local schools and colleges to support debate and awareness about aviation.
  • Targeted offers and discounts for local people.

Of course, this is just a small list of the kind of more positive approaches that can help establish a fruitful relationship with external stakeholders. Naturally, adverse impact mitigation should also still proceed in parallel to this approach and it is important to honestly and publicly acknowledge its limitations. People can handle bad news, especially if they know that everything possible is being done.

Progress won’t happen over-night – especially if there is long standing community skepticism. This more balanced “sustainability” oriented approach is however far more effective than simply trying to manage negative impacts.

The enablers for successful engagement with the local communities include:

  • Understanding the complex airport sustainability-operational-cost chains
  • Good research into local community attitudes and perceptions
  • Accurate information on measured, modelled and perceived impacts – both positive and negative
  • Awareness of relevant good practice at other airports.
  • The engagement of the airport operational and commercial community through cost-effective collaborative processes
  • Ensuring that sustainability is part of the culture of every service partner on an airport’s site – each airport employee can help to minimise risk and can be an airport ambassador
  • The trust and engagement of externally supportive entities such as regulators, planning authorities, business leadership entities, tourism businesses and supply chain businesses, etc.
  • And perhaps most importantly, effective and open community communications channels and processes.

The aim is to establish a community perception of the airport as a mutually beneficial asset. One that is seen to be strategically valuable in delivering positive sustainability benefits locally; and, that can be trusted to do all it can to minimise negative airport impacts to the extent possible.

 

ENVISA has the skills and experience to make this a reality for your airport. We conduct independent, transparent and neutral assessments to support airports and communities in establishing relationships based on cooperation and open, fact-based communication and achieving their mutually beneficial goals.

 

[1] European Aviation Environmental Report, EASA, 2016 (https://www.easa.europa.eu/eaer/)

[2] http://noise.eea.europa.eu

Noise – Dealing with the Foremost Concern of Local Communities

Noise – Dealing with the Foremost Concern of Local Communities

What you can’t measure, you can’t manage!

Although the advances in the industry (more efficient and less noisy aircraft, mitigation actions, land use planning etc..) aircraft noise is still the most significant reason for the opposition of local communities to the new operations and expansion of airports. If not managed properly, noise disturbance and annoyance can have serious implications for the future development projects of airports.

Various published studies have noted that aviation noise may have harmful impacts on the health and psychological well-being of the people living near airports. Sleep disturbance and annoyance are the most common adverse effects of aircraft noise. More serious implications include increased risk of cardiovascular disease and impacts on children’s cognition and learning.

Regulations to control aircraft noise issues, however, also influence airport operations, may constrain airport capacity and could adversely impact flight efficiency. This could lead to additional fuel use and atmospheric emissions, unfulfilled profit potential and reduced economic benefits. Noise constraints can also trigger accelerated development of alternative new airport infrastructure to accommodate displaced demand elsewhere. Thus, the pros and cons of the noise implications for the quality of life for local people versus wider economic prosperity need to be transparently studied and fully understood, in order to reach – and ultimately maintain – a sustainable balance between differing imperatives.

Complaints, claims for compensation and monetary damages from plaintiffs due to aircraft noise nuisance can results in long and costly lawsuits for the airport, delayed permission for growth, along with negative press and publicity regarding the airport’s community engagement, corporate social responsibility and environmental management.

Moreover, existing airport expansion or construction of additional runways are a hot topic for debates between airport authorities, planning authorities, tourism businesses, governments, environmentalists and residents. Sustainability consultations and mediation processes launched between these parties are often high-profile, politically divisive and require robust, fact based technical studies regarding the future environmental impacts of the planned airport development. These studies need to meet agreed standards and be independent so that all parties can trust their outcomes.

Finding a Balanced Solution to Noise Mitigation

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has proposed the “Balanced Approach” comprising of four principal elements to mitigate aircraft noise impacts. These are:

  • Noise reduction at source, i.e. making aeroplanes quieter
  • Sustainable land use planning and management
  • Noise abatement operational procedures
  • Introducing operating restrictions

Selecting the optimum combination of options, however, requires noise modelling around airports for simulating current and future airport operations, plotting noise levels around airports and analysing the number and spatial distribution of the people affected.

Noise Impact Studies

For any type of expansion or operational project, an airport (big or small) needs to be prepared for potential debates between airport authorities and operational stakeholders, governments, lobbies and residents. In order to ensure the swift implementation of the planned project, fact-based technical studies not only help the consultations with the community and local government but also help to act in a smart way to develop the necessary mitigation actions.

Airports should know the implications in terms of noise impacts for scenarios involving:

  • Traffic growth
  • Airport expansion
  • Operational options
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Land use management

To help airports pursue their growth in a sustainable way, community management and proper land use management must be implemented.

What are the key factors to manage noise?

Envisa recognises that the noise impact and environmental situation at each airport are unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We provide services to help airports manage noise issues by:

  • Evaluating the current noise impacts (noise levels, population affected, etc.)
  • Analysing the effect of airport expansion scenarios on noise impacts
  • Understanding the operational framework, opportunities and constraints
  • Assessing the present and future noise climate and reporting in meaningful language
  • Quantifying the noise performance of of mitigation options
  • Elaborating noise management plans
  • Understanding and quantifying interdependencies including trade-offs
  • Communicating on noise issues with local communities & public authorities

Envisa has a full noise and air quality modelling capability to complement its world class operational and mitigation advisory service.

 

ATM4E – What’s new?

ATM4E – What’s new?

Few months ago we were pleased to announce that Envisa was part of the ATM4E project, an exploratory research project within the SESAR 2020 programme, started in May 2016.

Within a consortium of 6 participants, the project’s main objective is to explore the feasibility of a concept for environmental assessment of ATM operations working towards environmental optimisation of air traffic operations in the European airspace.

This time, we are happy to share with you the paper recently published by the ATM4E consortium, related to an environmentally-optimized ATM network.

Want to know more? Take a look on the paper published on 1st of August “A Concept for Multi-Criteria Environmental Assessment of Aircraft Trajectories“.

 

Newsletter #2 / Complete Beginner’s Guide to… Airport Carbon Accreditation!

Newsletter #2 / Complete Beginner’s Guide to… Airport Carbon Accreditation!

 


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ENVISA
Aviation & Environmental Solutions

Complete Beginner’s Guide to…
Airport Carbon Accreditation!

New to the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) scheme?
Here is a list of the 10 basic steps which will clarify
how to get your first-time accreditation.

But first, let’s begin with a brief presentation of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. The Airports Council International (ACI) Europe launched the ACA programme in 2009, as a result of the resolution on climate change they had adopted in 2008. The goal is to significantly reduce airports’ carbon emissions, with the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral.

LEVEL 1 – MAPPING
Achieving this Level requires a public engagement in emissions reduction, the calculation of the airport’s carbon footprint, and the engagement of a third-party verifier.

LEVEL 2 – REDUCTION
In addition to Level 1 goals, Level 2 requires the elaboration of a carbon management plan and evidence of a continuous emissions reduction.

LEVEL 3 – OPTIMISATION
At Level 3, it is necessary to engage stakeholders at and around the airport in reducing their carbon footprint in addition to meeting the Level 1 & 2 objectives.

LEVEL 3+ – NEUTRALITY
To get the Level 3+ accreditation, airports will have to offset any remaining carbon emissions directly controlled by the airport.

Here are our 10 basic tips for
getting Airport Carbon Accreditation

 

1/ Set Your Objective!

Clarify to yourself : “Why should your airport get
an Airport Carbon Accreditation”
?
This could be for instance because it fits perfectly
into the environmental policy of your company
and reflects its aspirations with regard to sustainability.
Plus, you would like to highlight your airport’s green image
and get positive publicity in the eyes of the general public.

2/ Decide your Accreditation Level

Choosing the level is one of the first decisions you will need to make.
The higher the level is, the more ambitious the airport will be.
For first-timers, the Level 1 is the easiest way to start.Levels 2, 3 and 3+ require more time to achieve the required objectives;
especially when starting from scratch.

3/ Make Sure the Resources Are Available

Having sustainability objectives is great – but,
it is even better to have the wherewithal to realise them.
You will need to allocate a skilled team to the task
and give them the time and resources needed
to finalise the ACA carbon footprint calculations,
elaborate a carbon footprint management plan etc.

4/ Define a Timeline

The ACA process takes time.
If your general management wants the accreditation certificate by next month,
you should inform them that the deadline is unrealistic.
Keep in mind that the process takes several months
from the initial decision through data collection and
footprint calculations to the independent verification
and final accreditation steps.

5/ Establish an Inventory of Your Emission Sources

Besides the public engagement to emissions reduction,
ACA requires airports to calculate their carbon footprint.
You will need to establish a list of all the emission
sources present at your airport
. In addition to these direct
so-called “Scope 1” sources, you will also need to account
for purchased electricity, heating and cooling or the “Scope 2” sources.

6/ Collect Data

Data collection is often the most time-consuming part of the process.
The aim is to assemble all the activity data of the airport
such as energy consumptions (gas, fuel, etc.) coming from different
emission sources (boilers, heaters, emergency power generators, vehicles etc.).
In most cases the data collection requires
collaboration with personnel from various departments.
Prepare to be patient as well as persistent –
keep in mind that you’re doing it for a good cause!

7/ Calculate the Carbon Footprint

Once all the data have been collected, the hard part has been done.
You will now need to proceed to the carbon footprint calculations
and identify the quantity of CO2 released into the atmosphere.

8/ Engage an Independent Verifier

ACI requires an independent verification of your carbon footprint:
you can engage any officially approved third-party Verifier you wish.Keep in mind that the verification will need to be performed every two years
or when passing to a higher accreditation Level.

9/ Get the Accreditation

Once the verification has been done, you need to submit the final report
and calculations to the programme Administrator.

You will also need to pay the accreditation fee,
which depends on the size or your airport as well as the accreditation level.

10/ What Next?

Congratulations, you have obtained your Airport Carbon Accreditation!
What are your plans for the future?

If you would like help on some or all of these steps,
please feel free to get in touch with us.
We have a wealth of experience in helping airports
all over the world to achieve ACA certification.

Established in 2004, Envisa is an environmental consulting company specialised in sustainable aviation.
Our focus areas are mainly local air quality, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, noise & energy management.
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