Airports, airlines, public authorities, and policymakers gathered at the European Parliament in Brussels on 6 December 2022 to exchange on green airports and regions, at the invitation of the OLGA project. The event was hosted by MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu (European People’s Party). As a project funded under the EU Green Deal, OLGA shared with the audience its plans for laying the foundations for greener airports throughout Europe through the development of innovative and sustainable solutions.
The OLGA set of environmental innovations and concepts is developed by Paris Charles de Gaulle in France as lighthouse airport and Milano Malpensa in Italy, Zagreb in Croatia and Cluj Napoca in Romania as fellow airports. The aim of this event was to support replication by bringing together airports and regions of diverse sizes, as well as airlines and policymakers. Inputs were also brought by the European Commission, through CINEA (European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency), responsible for the implementation of programmes supporting the EU Green Deal, such as Horizon 2020, DG RTD (Directorate-General for Research and Innovation), and with the presence of DG MOVE (Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport).
OLGA addresses several themes in connection with the expected transition towards CO2‐neutral aviation, and wider multimodal mobility. The project is committed to increase environmental performance from three perspectives: Flight Operations, Passenger and Cargo Transport, as well as Community and Territories. As such, the following topics were discussed during the event: Sustainable Aviation Fuel traceability; Smart lighting and energy savings; Photovoltaic panels on boarding bridges to feed 400Hz plugs; Waste valorisation and Bio-Natural Gas Vehicles development, as an energy alternative to natural gas.
The importance of paving the way towards sustainable airports was highlighted by the host of the event himself, MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu, Chair of Intergroup on Sky and Space and Coordinator in the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN):
OLGA is a very well -organised project and I hope that the results of this project will serve as a manual for airports with best practices for decarbonisation. It is important to propose the best solutions for SAF and to address several aspects, such as how to provide SAF to airlines in a sustainable way. Good luck to the project!
The sponsor of the OLGA project, Yannael Billard, Senior Manager in the Environment & Energy division of Groupe ADP, explained how the project supports the acceleration of the environmental transition of airport operations:
OLGA will be a showcase for our expertise and innovations in environmental transition. Paris-CDG, the lighthouse airport in the OLGA project, will host many concrete deployments to reduce CO2 emissions, improve air quality and preserve biodiversity, such as an airside multi-energy station or an air quality modelling tool and dashboard.
The event was attended by 50 participants representing airports, regions, airlines, and policymakers. It opened a vital discussion, given the current climate and energy contexts, with the hope of leading the way towards a more sustainable future.