For many years, the airline industry has been working, through innovation and continuous improvement, to improve its energy efficiency and thus help to contain the rise in temperatures at 2°C by 2100, according to the recommendations of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The airline industry is highly observed, yet its commitments and actions are not well known.
At the "The COP21 from Above" event held today at the Paris Air Show and 6 months before the 21st Conference of the Parties to be held in France under the auspices of the United Nations, three major French players from the air transport industry are increasing their involvement in the reduction of their environmental footprint. By signing a joint statement, Aéroports de Paris, Air France-KLM and the Association of French Aerospace Industries Association (GIFAS) want to concretely present their commitments to improve energy efficiency and eventually reach a low-carbon economy. Technological progress, the use of sustainable alternative fuels, improved operating performance, airport infrastructures and air traffic are all actions taken by the three French air transport companies to be consistent with the IPCC recommendations.
This statement was solemnly signed by Marwan Lahoud, Chairman of GIFAS, Alexandre de Juniac, Chairman and CEO of Air France-KLM and Augustin de Romanet, Chairman and CEO of Aéroports de Paris in the presence of Ministers Laurent Fabius and Ségolène Royal, Tony Tyler, President of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Philippe Ciais from the IPCC.
Aéroports de Paris, Air France-KLM and GIFAS are working on these developments with the Civil Aviation Research Council (CORAC), in partnership with State services (French Civil Aviation Authority, relevant ministries) the National Office for Aerospace Studies and Research (ONERA), the National Federation of Merchant Aviation (FNAM), the Union of French Airports (UAF) and the Aeronautics and Astronautics Association of France (3AF). As well as these three players, it is the whole air transport community in France that is mobilized by the implementation of research and innovation to support sustainable growth for all.
An essential driver of socioeconomic growth, the air transport industry, itself based on constant cooperation between operators, infrastructure managers and aircraft manufacturers, perceives the climate challenge as a collective challenge and thus contributes to the creation of a competitive low-carbon economic model.
The commitments quantified are:
1. Aéroports de Paris is committed to:
- Reducing the CO2 emissions of its airport infrastructure per passenger by 50% between 2009 and 2020, while at the same time developing traffic
- Improving its energy efficiency by 1.5% per year over the period 2016-2020, which represents about 15% between 2009 and 2020
- Establishing its share of renewable energy in the final consumption of its airports at 15% in 2020
2. Air France - KLM is committed to:
- Reducing CO2 emissions from its flight operations by 20% by 2020 compared to 2011, expressed in grams of CO2 per passenger per km (2011 consumption = 93 g CO2 per pax per km, in 2014 = 86 g CO2 per pax per km)
- Improve by 20% the energy performance of its fixed installations by 2020 compared to 2011, expressed in eq. kWh per sq.m.
- Involve all players to promote the creation of a biofuel industry for air transport in France and the Netherlands
3. GIFAS is committed to:
- Converging technological innovations from the CORAC (Council for Civil Aeronautics Research) so that new aircraft achieve a 50% reduction in CO2emissions by 2020 and 75% in 2050 (reference year 2000)
- Supporting the European Commission’s objective of producing 2 million tons of aviation biofuels in 2020, thanks to accompanying and validation actions of the implementation chain
- Continuing to reduce the carbon footprint of their sites and their industrial activities at each stage of the life cycle, involving the whole sector.