The global aviation industry produces around 2.1 per cent of all human-induced carbon dioxide emissions. It is responsible for 12 per cent of CO2 emissions from all transports sources. In the past decade, the impact of carbon emission on our planet has become a subject of concern. There is a need for airlines, airports, and other stakeholders to reduce it. Airports Council International has created a carbon neutrality accreditation programme for airports, which will assist reduce carbon emissions. In a similar vein, India’s Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, has stated that as part of the bigger endeavour to make the aviation sector carbon-neutral, India will do a carbon mapping of all its airports assets. I would prefer expatiating on the issue and discussing various aspects to deal with it.
Ground-based airport (GHG) emissions are caused by gasoline and diesel fuel for airport vehicles and ground support equipment (GSE), fossil fuel for electricity and heating, jet fuel for auxiliary power units (APUs) that power planes at airport gates, and other sources all contribute to GHG emissions.
Lowering airport energy bills and operating costs can be accomplished by reducing or eliminating GHGs. GHG reduction goals are also being set by the central and state governments to reduce their local contributions to global GHG levels.
In order to reduce GHG emissions, airports can begin by estimating or inventorying the amount of GHGs produced by airport sources. In most GHG inventories, airport emissions are divided into three groups. These classifications, or scopes, are determined by how much control an airport has over emissions reduction.
First, airport-owned power plants that use fossil fuels, conventional automobiles that run on gasoline, and traditional GSE that run on diesel fuel are all examples of emissions from airport-owned or controlled sources.
Second, indirect emissions from the consumption of purchased energy.
And third is indirect emissions that the airport does not control but can influence.
Tenant emissions, on-airport aircraft emissions (usually after an aircraft has been parked on the apron), emissions from passenger vehicles entering or departing the airport, trash disposal and processing emissions are all examples of scope three.
Notably, there are various GHG emission inventory tools that are simple to use. Airport Council International’s Airport Carbon and Emissions Reporting Tool is one example (ACERT).
To eliminate or reduce airport-related GHGs, airports can design a plan to reduce or eliminate their GHG emissions after identifying their sources. Low-cost energy efficiency initiatives, such as enhancing building insulation, can be pursued by airports. These kinds of methods minimise GHG emissions and operating costs at the same time. They can also buy renewable energy, install renewable energy systems as long as they are consistent with airport operations, minimise energy usage, assess the efficiency of heating, ventilation, and cooling systems, and buy low- or zero-emission vehicles and GSE (ground support equipment).
Because airports do not control tenant activities or passenger vehicle trips to and from an airport, most airports exclude these emissions from the initial inventories. However, airports can have an impact on tenant and passenger GHG emissions. They can cooperate with tenants on energy efficiency measures, extend recycling programmes, promote fuel-efficient or alternatively-fuelled vehicles with the taxi, shuttle, and collaborate with municipalities to improve public transportation for airport passengers.
Several airports are likewise working to achieve carbon-neutral status. Airports that are carbon neutral have zero net carbon emissions. This can be accomplished by reducing emissions and acquiring carbon offsets in combination. This target has been met by Dallas Fort Worth and San Diego International Airports. San Francisco International Airport, Barnstable Municipal Airport, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International (SeaTac) are among the major airports that have significantly reduced GHG emissions.