One of the biggest challenges that airports currently face is long-term environmental sustainability. According to a recent study, airports are one of the major contributors to the world’s global carbon emissions. Considering that air traffic is expected to nearly double by the Year 2037, airports will continue to be one of the world’s major contributors to carbon emissions, unless proper sustainability initiatives are taken.
Investing in technology, such as digital solutions can be a great first step in making an airport more sustainable. An airport’s operations, safety management and training processes have traditionally been very paper-intensive. Considering the amount of required inspections, operations reports, daily logs, training records, safety reports and investigation findings that are documented on paper, it is easy to see how the digitization and automation of these processes can help airports significantly decrease their carbon footprint. Thus, making themselves more sustainable.
In addition, some airports heavily rely on the use of paper to document important information for their leases. Airports typically need to document and monitor lease terms, lessee information, plots, insurance requirements, security deposits, rent, etc. Utilizing digital solutions to electronically document this information can increase an airport’s sustainability.
More than reducing paper usage, the use of a Resource Management System can also greatly decrease an airport’s carbon footprint. Resource management systems offer airports various benefits such as optimized gate utilization, increased efficiency and maximization of current infrastructure. More importantly, it can reduce an airport’s carbon footprint by reducing jet fuel usage. By fully optimizing the gate assignment process, airports will limit the amount of time aircraft spend taxiing on the runway. One study suggests that 18 tons of CO2 are released into the atmosphere during taxiing operations alone. Lastly, one additional benefit of optimized gate utilization is increased customer satisfaction by reducing time spent on the tarmac.
In conclusion, investing in digital solutions can greatly align with an airport’s sustainability goals by decreasing CO2 emissions and eliminating the need for paper usage. Certain government agencies are also willing to offer funding for certain projects that assist with long-term environmental sustainability efforts.