FAA Launches Net-Zero Challenge To Be Achieved by 2050

Photo Credit: Eurocontrol
Photo Credit: Eurocontrol

LONDON – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the U.S. airports have launched an Airport Climate Challenge to help achieve the net-zero emissions by 2050.

What is the challenge?

The ACC is aimed to help airports reach a net-zero emission by 2050, allowing the airports to get help in the form of funds to get low- or zero-emission vehicles.

This challenge is one of many initiatives underway to achieve a net-zero aviation system by 2050, which has been initiated by the Biden-Harris government.

“The United States should not only have the safest and most efficient aerospace system in the world, but it can also and should be the most environmentally sustainable as well,” commented Shannetta Griffin, FAA Associate Administrator for Airports.

“By partnering with the country’s airports, we can meet this climate challenge.”

Existing programs

Currently, there exist 3 programs for airports to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, which are:

  • Voluntary Airport Low Emissions Program – grant funding to implement clean technology projects that improve airport air quality.
  • Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Program –grant funding to acquire zero-emission vehicles and associated infrastructure.
  • Airport Sustainability Planning Program – grant funding for eligible airports to develop comprehensive sustainability plans.

The FAA is currently developing its own tool for airports to voluntarily estimate, report, track and report on the emissions reduction achieved when implementing projects supported by the airport’s programs

“Reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will require steadfast dedication from government and industry partners, and we are grateful for continued collaboration as we work toward this important goal,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke.

Current challenges

“But challenges remain. We know that most airport emissions are related to electricity, heating, and cooling.”

“Upgrading airport facilities is critical to improving energy efficiency and reducing these emissions, further underscoring the tremendous need for additional infrastructure funding to help modernize our country’s aging airports, he added.

Besides these challenges, realistically speaking, airports aren’t able to release 0 greenhouse gasses, and take-offs and landings are ignored.

While the airport themselves are able to operate with ZEVs, the planes need to have their APUs switched on for passenger comfort and for the plane in order to warm up the engine.

Besides these points, however, this is a very great challenge in order for airports to invest in greener solutions. This is also the very first step for the aviation industry based in the United States to improve and invest in greener solutions.

In Europe, there exist many green startups, such as Mototok, which incorporate cutting-edge technology to not only improve the workplace but also to be as sustainable as possible.

What Mototok has done, is create a remote pushback truck, reducing not only the greenhouse gas emission to zero but also reducing the people required to operate a pushback, creating a more efficient pushback process.

They’re now being fully used in London’s busiest airport, Heathrow.

In Schiphol since a couple of months ago, they have begun using an electric GPU. If the test succeeds, then they might be deployed to every airport in the Netherlands such as Rotterdam The Hague Airport, and Eindhoven Airport.

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