US airports ready to meet Net-Zero 2050 Climate Challenge

The Federal Aviation Administration and US airports have launched an Airport Climate Challenge to help achieve the Biden-Harris Administration goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Airports can take advantage of several FAA funding programmes to meet this goal, including grants for low- or zero-emissions vehicles, renewable energy production, energy assessments and other efforts.

The challenge is said to be one of a number of initiatives underway to meet the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of a net-zero aviation system by 2050.

“The United States should not only have the safest and most efficient aerospace system in the world, it can and should be the most environmentally sustainable as well. By partnering with the country’s airports, we can meet this climate challenge,” said the FAA’s associate administrator for airports Shannetta Griffin.

ACI-North America and the Airport Consultants Council will continue to support airports using FAA programmed and funding.

According to the FAA, airports can reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the following existing programmes:

The FAA also announced it will develop a tool for airports to voluntarily estimate, track and report on the emissions reduction achieved when implementing projects supported by the airport programmes.

“Airports remain committed to creating a more sustainable future for air travel,” stated ACI-NA’s president and CEO, Kevin Burke.

“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, 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 modernise our country’s ageing airports.”

TJ Schultz, president of the Airport Consultants Council, said:  “Achieving the target goal of net-zero emissions at airports by 2050 will require a strong partnership by government, airport owners and industry.

“The members of ACC stand ready to meet the challenge and find solutions for a more environmentally sustainable aviation ecosystem.”

In November, the FAA notes that the US released its first-ever comprehensive Aviation Climate Action Plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Earlier in 2021, the FAA announced more than $100 million in matching grants to increase aircraft efficiency, reduce noise and aircraft emissions, and develop and implement new software to reduce taxi delays.

The White House also announced its Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge, a government-wide initiative designed to catalyse the production of at least three billion gallons per year by 2030.

Find more information about the FAA and its environmental efforts at its Sustainability page.

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