Vienna Airport to Run CO2-Neutral Business in the Future

TransportAirlines & Airports ♦ Published: October 11, 2022; 11:43 ♦ (Vindobona)

At a recent meeting, international airports agreed to become carbon neutral by 2050. This also applies to the airport in Vienna-Schwechat. However, this airport is pursuing a much more ambitious goal: it wants to be completely CO2 neutral by 2023.

Vienna Airport plans to make its operations CO2 neutral from 2023. / Picture: © Vienna Airport / Flughafen Wien AG

At the recent Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization of the United Nations (ICAO), Vienna Airport welcomed the envisaged goal of making civil aviation CO2 neutral by 2050.

The airport itself is moving forward with a good example: Vienna Airport plans to make its operations CO2 neutral from 2023.

In a press statement, Vienna Airport welcomes the agreement of the ICAO member states to make global civil aviation CO2 neutral by 2050. At the 41st General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in Montreal, 193 countries agreed to reduce CO2 emissions from civil aviation to zero by 2050.

This will be achieved by accelerating the introduction of new and innovative aircraft technologies, streamlining flight operations and increasing the production and use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

"This is a big step for climate protection, because CO2-free aviation is now within reach. The technology for the production and use of SAF is available, the fuels can be used with existing propulsion systems and there is no need for airlines to replace their fleets. Through large-scale production in suitable regions with a lot of solar energy, the production costs are economically justifiable and the market-wide use of SAF is possible. Sustainable Aviation Fuels are already in use today: At Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines, passengers can already have SAF added to their flight bookings and thus reduce their carbon footprint," note Julian Jäger and Günther Ofner, members of the Management Board of Flughafen Wien AG.

Worldwide, air traffic causes only about 2.7% of all CO2 emissions (before the pandemic) - this is rather low compared to other industries. Nevertheless, international aviation is implementing numerous climate protection measures. Vienna Airport is leading the way here: as of 1 January 2023, Vienna Airport will run its operations in a CO2-neutral manner.

To achieve this, the airport is implementing numerous measures such as photovoltaics, e-vehicles, industrial waste heat recovery, intelligent building management and much more. For example, the airport operates eight photovoltaic systems at the site, including Austria's largest system on 24 hectares.

Office Park 4, which uses geothermal energy and a photovoltaic system, is currently the most sustainable office building in Austria. Overall, Vienna Airport is reducing its CO2 emissions by around 60,000 tonnes of CO2 per year compared to 2011.