Airport operator Swedavia has announced that operations at Visby Airport, Sweden, have become entirely fossil fuel-free. The transformation follows years of focused work, which included electrification of vehicles, a switch in fuels and implementation of efficiency measures.
Over the last ten years, fossil carbon dioxide emissions at Visby Airport have decreased from about 300 tonnes a year to zero now. Intensive work to replace all vehicles that run on fossil fuel energy – from fire trucks to snow removal equipment – accounts for the reduction. Energy consumption has fallen steadily, and the airport’s energy is now provided by green, or renewable, electricity. Swedavia also buys biofuel for its employees’ travel on official business, which means that this too is fossil-free.
Gunnar Jonasson, airport director at Visby Airport said: “There is a great transformation under way in the transport sector right now, with reduced fossil carbon dioxide emissions being the top priority. Visby Airport is a large enterprise that uses many vehicles and equipment as well as a lot of energy to enable air transport to and from the island of Gotland. It is a major achievement that our operations at the airport are now entirely fossil-free.”
Another important element in Swedavia’s environmental work is influencing other stakeholders in the industry and also enabling them to reduce their climate impact. Among other measures, the company is involved in work to facilitate large-scale use of biofuel in aviation. With the right measures, Swedish domestic air transport can be fossil-free by as early as 2030, while the country’s international air transport – and thus all Swedish air transport – can be fossil-free by 2045.
Visby Airport now claims to be one of the most climate-smart in the world. Swedavia, which manages ten airports across the country, plans similar fossil-free operations at its hubs by 2020 and hopes Swedish domestic air transport will be fossil-free by 2030, while its international air transport could achieve the same target by 2045.
Picture: Visby Airport’s operations are now powered by fosil-free fuel. (Wikimedia Commons / W.carter)