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In a significant step towards sustainable aviation, daa, the operator of Dublin and Cork airports, has outlined a comprehensive plan to enhance environmental sustainability across both airports. With a bold vision to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, daa has unveiled 20 groundbreaking initiatives, supported by a robust investment of over €400 million.

The announcement was made at a high-profile event in Dublin, where attendees were introduced to the multifaceted approach daa is taking to address both direct emissions from airport operations (Scope 1 and Scope 2) and the broader environmental impact of the aviation sector (Scope 3 emissions). These initiatives highlight daa’s commitment to collaborative efforts with airlines and other stakeholders to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of aviation activities.

Among the key initiatives, daa has committed to a 90% reduction in carbon emissions from airside vehicles by transitioning from diesel to Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), electrifying the ground fleet, and exploring on-site solar power generation. This marks a significant stride towards making Dublin Airport one of the most environmentally friendly in Europe, with similar ambitious projects at Cork Airport.

Key initiatives include:

  • Transitioning Dublin Airport to become diesel-free by converting all owned vehicles to Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO).
  • Electrifying the light vehicle fleets at both airports, aiming for 100% electric by the end of 2024.
  • Planning for a 1.8 million-kilowatt solar farm at Cork Airport to harness renewable energy.
  • Implementing innovative photobioreactor technology to improve air quality at bus stations.
  • Fast-tracking a shared bikes project and increasing electric vehicle parking spaces at Dublin Airport.
  • Upgrading apron lighting to energy-efficient LED technology at Cork Airport, alongside efforts to enhance rainwater harvesting and early detection of water leaks.

Kenny Jacobs, CEO of daa, expressed his enthusiasm for these initiatives, emphasizing sustainability as a core value driving the future development of Dublin and Cork airports.

“The 20 projects we’re announcing today align with our commitment to ensuring safe, efficient, and sustainable growth,” Jacobs stated, underscoring the ambition to fast-track the achievement of net zero by 2050.

The initiatives have garnered support from government officials, including Jack Chambers TD, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, who praised daa’s innovative approach to achieving their sustainability goals.

Additionally, daa’s efforts were recognized with the Smarter Travel Mark by the National Transport Authority, highlighting the company’s commitment to sustainable travel. This comes alongside a pledge from bus operators to provide a seat for every passenger from 2024, enhancing public transport accessibility and reducing carbon emissions.

The announcement reflects a broader commitment by daa and its partners to embrace sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), hydrogen, and other green technologies, aligning with national and international efforts to mitigate climate change and reduce aviation’s environmental impact.

With these initiatives, daa sets a new standard in sustainable airport operations, demonstrating that environmental stewardship and growth can go hand in hand. As these projects unfold, Dublin and Cork airports are poised to become leading examples of how the aviation industry can evolve to meet the challenges of the 21st century, ensuring Ireland’s connectivity needs are met in an environmentally responsible manner.