Brussels Airport launches Stargate project for greener aviation

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Brussels Airport officially launches Stargate project, which has received a grant within the European Green deal. In the next five years, Brussels Airport will be working with a consortium of 21 partners on some 30 concrete projects to make aviation and airports greener and more sustainable. Stargate includes building a biofuel blending installation at the airport, electric ground handling material and testing a new innovation that will make engine test runs much quieter. 

At the end of 2020, following a call of the European Commission, Brussels Airport took the initiative to submit an ambitious programme (“Stargate”) together with 21 partners, including three European airports, airlines, mobility and knowledge institutes and local authorities, to develop innovations and initiatives for an accelerated transition to greener aviation. Brussels Airport’s Stargate project was selected and has received a 24.8 million euros grant within the European Green Deal to implement these projects in the coming years.  

"With Stargate we want to show, together with our partners, that more sustainable aviation is possible, and that we want to take the lead in this. Through partnership and innovation, we want to address the climate challenges we are facing. Within the Stargate project, we will develop biofuels for aircraft on the airport's grounds, make the ground operations more sustainable, and turn airports into intermodal hubs, where alternatives for the car are even more accessible. By exchanging knowledge and experience with our partners, we can learn from each other, and our fellow airports will be the first to roll out the specific actions that proved successful at Brussels Airport. And within Stargate we are also looking at opportunities to cooperate with the local residents, for example regarding renewable energy. In addition,  the initiatives around the modal split will of course have a positive impact for them as well.”, says Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport. 

Diverse European consortium with three fellow airports 

For Stargate, Brussels Airport is working with 21 partners from all over Europe, including three other airports: Athens International Airport, Budapest Airport and Toulouse Blagnac Airport.  These airports are already CO2-neutral for their own operations, as is Brussels Airport, and  each has their own accents in the area of sustainability. The airports will be able to exchange their knowledge and experience within Stargate, and what proves successful at Brussels  Airport will also be rolled out and deployed at these fellow airports. 

Dr. Yiannis N. Paraschis, CEO, Athens International Airport stated, "The need to respond to the climate emergency has never been more evident and the industry is responding to the challenge. Through Stargate we aim to accelerate the adoption of sustainable aviation fuel,  zero-emission vehicles, green hydrogen, and other solutions while contributing from our own expertise gained from over a decade of carbon reduction, in particular the implementation of large-scale solar projects within the airport fence. It will also provide an opportunity to harness the power of digitization to improve environmental performance, not only in emissions but also in issues such as circular economy and noise. Athens International Airport is and inspired to join its Stargate partners to take on these challenges and deliver a more  sustainable future for air travel." 

„In line with its sustainability objectives, Budapest Airport joined the Stargate project, as part of which the airport operator’s task is to develop and put in place a cloud-based, paper-free air cargo handling system, together with other sustainable projects, concerning mainly the terminal, energy efficiency, sustainable aviation fuel and traffic developments. Budapest  Airport has taken numerous real steps in order to continuously reduce the airport’s carbon footprint and we plan to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2035, a goal to which the Stargate project and the involved sharing or experiences and knowledge will contribute greatly,” says Chris Dinsdale, CEO of Budapest Airport. 

“With three major European airports, we will collaborate on very concrete initiatives to accelerate the energy transition and, more broadly, to ensure the sustainable development of our business. Stargate will also support our efforts to seamlessly integrate our airport into its territory and local environment. The current context confirms the relevance of our action in favour of the decarbonization of air transport. The strength of the Stargate collective, diversified and complementary, will leverage the resources dedicated to reaching this ambition, which is also our Purpose.” says Philippe Crébassa, CEO of Aèroport de  Toulouse-Blagnac. 

The other partners in the consortium are Brussels Airlines, TUI, DHL Aviation, Engie Laborelec, Air Cargo Belgium, Skytanking, skeyes, To70, Lux Mobility, University of Hasselt,  expertise centre Erasmus UPT, IES R&D, Sopra Steria, Province of Flemish Brabant, Quatra, the  Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), NMBS and the Flanders Institute for  Logistics. 

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