The AIrport Operator - Pages 27-29

The Government official responsible for aviation decarbonisation has called on airports in England to provide evidence on how their operations could be zero emission by 2040.

Darryl Abelscroft, Head of Aviation Decarbonisation Strategy and Technology at the Department for Transport was speaking last month at the AOA’s carbon conference.

He confirmed that it is the Government’s intention to issue a call for evidence this year on their ambition for all airport operations in England to be zero emission by 2040. He told the conference that a feasibility study by Mott MacDonald had confirmed that this goal is technically feasible and commercially viable.

However, he also accepted that there are unanswered questions about the ambition and areas that the Government needs to better understand. Asked to explain what exactly the Department means by “airport operations”, he said, “the starting point for me is it should be things involved in people flying, the core things an airport does to enable people to fly” and he emphasised “we want to work with the sector on this”.

Asked if the Government’s goal might not most easily be achieved by suppressing demand, he said “We want to preserve the ability of people to fly. The Jet Zero strategy is not just about decarbonisation. It is about growth. It is a strategy that unapologetically favours unlocking the economic growth of the aviation sector, but also the technologies and the fuels that will be needed to decarbonise, so there is a huge opportunity with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to grow a UK SAF industry, employing people up and down the country and aerospace as well. We are already a global leader in aerospace, but the new technology solutions we are going to need in aerospace are a massive opportunity for us."

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