Portugals airports go green

Zero carbon emission within a decade

Faro airport
Faro Airport

Nicolas Notebaert, the President of VINCI Airports, which owns Portugal’s 10 major airports, has pledged that within a decade these facilities will produce zero carbon emissions. According to him, as quoted by The Portugal News, this will make the Iberian country the first in Europe and the world with climate-neutral airports.

The promise was made in the context of two events that took place in the southern resort city of Faro. Earlier this month government officials (among them Prime Minister Antonio Costa) gathered to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the first aerial crossing of the Southern Atlantic between Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro (8300 km).

That pioneering flight was completed in 1922 by Gago Countinho. Thus in his honour, the Faro Airport (FAO) will bear his name in the future, “as a way to underline Portugal’s openness to the world and cosmopolitan nature”.

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Gago Coutinho

However, also keeping up with the beat of contemporary issues, Nicolas Notebaert announced the commissioning of a solar power plant at Faro airport. With a capacity of 3MWp, it enables VINCI Airports to produce 30% of the airport’s electricity needs, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 1,500 tonnes per year.

The first airport solar power plant in the country, the energy-producing complex represents a blueprint and a good representation of what is come and how the operator company plans to make good on its ambitious goal.

Vinci Airports has also opened a new base for British airline easyJet at Faro Airport. Opened in collaboration with easyJet and the Portuguese tourism authorities, the new base is expected to facilitate the launch of new routes in Faro.

Said to be the first in-airport plant in Portugal, FAO’s solar plant has been financed, developed and built by Vinci Airports and managed by Vinci Airports through its photovoltaic subsidiary SunMind, with operations planned to start next year.

In a statement, Vinci Airports said: “By choosing Faro as the first in-airport solar plant in Portugal, Vinci Airports takes a new step towards the realisation of its environmental action plan in the Algarve region.” The solar plant has been introduced as part of a global action plan framed by Vinci Airports for all its 45 airports in 12 nations.

Furthermore, it is planning to form partnerships with local environmental organisations, including the Centre for Marine Sciences of the University of Algarve, for promoting knowledge of the region’s fauna and flora. Vinci Airports has already attained a -13% drop in CO₂ emissions of the country’s airports network between 2018 and 2020.

COVID-19 in Madeira: updates can be found in an earlier post

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1 thought on “Portugals airports go green”

  1. Airport vehicles can be based on battery or better still, hydrogen. But, airports are unlikely ever to be 100% “green” — aircraft burn oil-based fuels.

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