Following this consultation, and in support of the development of the strategy to formalise this target, the Department for Transport is seeking to strengthen the evidence base of emissions from airport operations. Whilst airport operations are responsible for only 5% of air transport sector emissions, there are still significant ways in which airports and their users can reduce emissions and contribute their part to addressing climate issues within the sector. The objective of this study is to provide analysis showing the emissions sources at English airports and whether the innovations available will make zero carbon emission airport operations feasible by 2040.
Feasibility of Zero Emissions Airport Operations in England by 2040
To support this target, a consultation was launched in summer 2021 on plans to develop a ‘Jet-Zero’ strategy, which will ensure the UK is at the vanguard of progress on reducing aviation emissions and continues to drive international progress. This consultation included a proposal for a zero-emission target for airports operations in England by 2040. A short, further technical consultation is to be published in the second quarter of 2022. Responses to both consultations will inform the Jet Zero Strategy which will be published later this year.
“The approach was to map the emissions and published decarbonisations strategies across English airports covering; Scope 1 and 2 emissions and Scope 3 emissions excluding flight operations and surface access journeys to or from the airport. In addressing the emissions, the report presents the current landscape and outlook of known technologies and innovations which are available now or likely to be ready before 2040. To further aid decision makers, it also assesses the technical and commercial viability of achieving zero emissions by 2040.”