Thu 15 Nov 2018 – The Dutch civil aviation sector has pledged to reduce its gross carbon emissions originating in the Netherlands by 35 per cent by 2030. This is in addition to airline commitments required under the EU Emissions Trading System and the global CORSIA carbon offsetting scheme. To achieve the target, the industry has presented the Dutch government with its ‘Smart and Sustainable’ action plan covering seven areas, including ground operations, where it believes emission reductions can be made. It adds the plan aims to make the Dutch airline industry “the smartest and most sustainable sector in the world,” with research consultancy CE Delft assessing its objectives as ambitious yet achievable.
The seven action areas are:
- Optimising flight routes and procedures – Using more direct routes and improved take-off and landing procedures can reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Current routes in Dutch and European airspace are overloaded and sometimes inefficient, says the sector.
- Encouraging cleaner aircraft by levying airport fees – Schiphol Airport says it intends to differentiate its charges between 2019 and 2022 partly based on climate impact so that airlines will pay less to use quieter and cleaner aircraft, and those with noisier and more polluting aircraft will pay more.
- Introducing sustainable fuel – the industry says using sustainable fuel is one of the most effective ways of reducing CO2 emissions in the relatively short term.
- Radical fleet renewal – As well as continuing to renew their fleets with more efficient aircraft over the next decade, the Dutch aviation industry, along with knowledge institutions, are looking to play an important role in helping develop new aerodynamic aircraft models, stronger and lighter materials, and electric-hybrid propulsion that will be necessary to further reduce aviation emissions.
- Deploying international train services and other sustainable means of transport over short distances – On some routes, trains are a good alternative to air travel up to a distance of 700 kilometres, says the aviation sector. To make train travel even more attractive, it will require faster trains, better connections to Schiphol, further development of Schiphol as a multi-modal hub and easy-to-buy integrated air-rail tickets, it advises.
- Emissions-free airports – Royal Schiphol Group says it will ensure its airport terminals, offices and ground operations will be climate neutral from 2030. Schiphol already runs entirely on electricity generated by Dutch wind and is making efforts to increase energy efficiency, phase out the use of gas and limit commuting.
- Fast and efficient journeys to and from the airport – Other solutions are required for journeys, such as electric rental cars and faster public transport, says the sector, along with more options for getting cargo and baggage from door to door. Efficiency improvements are also needed in air cargo transport to improve lead times and loading rates.
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