Green Sustainable Airports


Small and medium sized airports are crucial for regional accessibility and competitiveness, however at the same time European policies and national set strict environment targets. Green Airports aimed to develop strategies and solutions for a more eco-efficient, sustainable and green regional aviation.

Tackling the challenges of regional accessibility, sustainability and regulation, Green Airports was modelled to decrease green house gas and noise emissions as well as operation specific waste volumes, to increase energy efficiency and surface accessibility of airports by innovative concepts on public transportation.

As cross sectional objective, the project comprehensively focused on regional airport communication, regional cooperation and policy resolutions to safeguard the role of regional airports as accessibility gateways by improving public perception and acceptance.

01/07/2010 - 31/03/2014
3 - Improving the Accessibility of Places in the North Sea Region
Area of Intervention
3.1 To promote regional accessibility strategies
ERDF Grant
1,757,823.00 €
ERDF Equivalent
185,000.00 €
Total Eligible Budget
3,885,646.00 €
Lead Beneficiary
Province of Drenthe, The Netherlands
Ben L.J. van Os
Tel: +31 592 365 665
Project Homepage
Beneficiaries per Country
The Netherlands
Province of Drenthe
Groningen Airport Eelde NV
Billund Lufthavn A/S
Billund Municipality
Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia A/S
Billund Varmeværk Amba
Flughafen Bremen GmbH
Der Senator für Wirtschaft und Häfen
Der Senator für Umwelt, Bau, Verkehr und Europa
Zweckverband Verkehrsverbund Bremen/Niedersachsen
Verkehrsverbund Bremen/Niedersachsen GmbH
Sandefjord Lufthavn AS
Vestfold County Council
United Kingdom
London Southend Airport Co. Ltd.
Institute for Sustainability (IfS)
Kent County Council
Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport
Background and Aim

Green Airports aimed to:

  • Contribute to efficient and competitive airport operational cost structures by joint development and implementation of eco-efficient energy applications and reduction of operation-specific resource consumption
  • Create better accessibility between airports, regions and cities to achieve an increasing share in modal split of public transport operators.

Within the past decade, the aviation industry realized a remarkable traffic growth contributing to rising European demand on economic and social cohesion, as well as to territorial cohesion, by improving air side accessibility and economic competitiveness. Nevertheless, rising air traffic volumes also imposes negative impacts and costs on society and the environment, which becomes more crucial in context of the climate change.

Small and medium sized airports (SMAs) need growth to ensure accessibility and to encourage economic development in the regions. On the other hand, European policies require the reduction of CO2 emissions and encourage the use of renewable energy. The IATA adopted carbon neutral growth in 2020 and the European Environment ministers set the targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions from aviation by 10% by 2020.

To reach this goal, the SMAs face a great challenge: How can they combine the goals for sustainability with a justifiable growth, within the set limitations? Possible solutions include:

  • Integrating aspects for sustainability (i.e. renewable energy sources) in airport management
  • Reducing the amount of chemicals for example for de-icing
  • Introducing CO2 reduction and noise-abating measures for arrival and departure procedures
  • Improving public transport to and from the airports and make this 'green'.
  • North Sea sustainability strategy for aviation, including toolkits for renewable energy implementation and chemical reduction, models for CO2 reduction on airports and passenger movements
  • Recommendations for aviation organisations and aviation authorities
  • Promote policy resolutions on green air transport and surface accessibility on regional, national and European policy level
  • Model for implementation of CO2 reducing flight approaches on SMAs
  • Network of Green Airport involved organisations.

GSA Transnational Seminar on Public Transport Concepts, Kent 2011

Noise Abatement Seminar - Bremenhalle, Bremen Airport

LB at Southend Airport

Press conference Airport Kortrijk-Wevelgem

Press conference at Airport Kortrijk-Wevelgem

Sandefjord TORP

De-icing, Sandefjord TORP

gsa FLAG

gsa FLAG

GSA off to a 'flying' start!

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