The challenge of sustainability in aviation can only be addressed with responsibility and effectively if it is understood in its full complexity. By attributing aircraft CO2 emissions to airports, the Airport Tracker is both factually incorrect and misleading.
Of course, airports facilitate air transport and contribute to develop the air connectivity that brings people and businesses together, ensures the delivery of essential supplies and supports millions of livelihoods across the globe. This is their key societal role. But airports are not the source, nor do they have control over aircraft emissions.
Conversely, airports have direct control over those CO2 emissions that are generated on the ground by their facilities and equipment. Since 2009, they have been working to reduce these CO2 emissions through Airport Carbon Accreditation. They have also committed to achieve net zero for these emissions by 2050 at the latest. 10 Swedish airports operated by Swedavia have already achieved that goal with an additional 80 airports in Europe set to do so by 2030.
The Airport Tracker is also a static tool which ignores the ambition, commitment and efforts of European aviation to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. This work is ongoing, jointly led by all main industry stakeholders represented by A4E, ERA, ASD, ACI EUROPE and CANSO, under the Destination 2050 roadmap.
With Destination 2050, the European aviation sector fully acknowledges its impact on climate change and shows it is working tirelessly and concretely to mitigate it. It is disappointing that T&E, ODI and ICCT have chosen to disregard this.
We call on T&E, ODI and ICCT to engage constructively with us to address the challenge of sustainable aviation, so as to both protect our planet and safeguard the societal benefits of air connectivity. This is a common challenge which requires all involved – industry, governments, civil society, consumers and citizens to work together co-operatively.