Environmental impact mitigation measures

Airports have been active in improving their environmental performance in various areas. This section provides an overview of some of these actions based on the 51 airport responses to the ACI EUROPE survey in 2018, which represent 60% of total EU28+EFTA passenger numbers.

Vehicle fleet

86% of the respondents reported that their vehicle fleet included electric vehicles, 47% have hybrid models and 35% have vehicles that run on sustainable alternative fuel. In addition, 18% of airports indicated that they provide incentives for taxis to also use these types of ‘green’ vehicles.


61% of survey respondents indicated that renewable energy is produced on site (Figure 5.4) while 40% have established an energy management system certified according to the ISO 50001 standard. 89% of these airports indicated that the renewable energy produced on site covers 1-20% of their energy needs, 3% stated the energy covers 21-40% of their needs, 5% stated the energy covers 41-60% of their needs and 3% stated the energy covers more than 61% of their needs.
In addition, 65% of airports purchase electricity from renewable sources.

Airport infrastructure

The provision of Fixed Electrical Ground Power (FEGP) and Pre-Conditioned Air (PCA) to aircraft at the airport gate reduces emissions by allowing the pilot to obtain electricity direct from the local grid and use the airport’s air conditioning system to control the temperature on board. The aircraft Auxiliary Power Unit, which uses normal jet fuel, can then be kept switched off until just before the aircraft is ready to depart when it is needed to start the main engines. 82% of respondents provide FEGP to aircraft on-stand and 58% of respondents provided PCA.

Airport surface access

A large part of the indirect emissions at airports originate from surface access transport (e.g. the road access to the airport). The development of improved public transport systems to reduce the use of individual vehicles, and improve local air quality, is one of the key challenges for airports and the local authorities. While 98% of airports indicated that public transport was available, a majority of airports also reported that less than 20% of their employees actually use it to travel to work. In a separate analysis, on average, 36% of passengers travelled to airports by public transport in 2018, compared to 43% in 201616.

16 2016 and 2019 data was based on airport reports representing 56% and 64% of European traffic respectively

Environmental Management Systems

82% of surveyed airports, representing 53% of total EU28+EFTA passengers, were certified against an international standard to effectively monitor and manage their environmental performance (e.g. EU EMAS, ISO 14001) or energy management (ISO 50001).