Iberia Airport Services, the airline’s handling business, designed an ambitious Sustainability Plan that will allow it to achieve net zero emissions in its operations by 2025.
To do this, it will invest more than €100M, of which it has already received €14.2M from the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE), which will be used to renew the ground equipment with which it provides airplane assistance services at 29 Spanish airports.
Thermal Equipment to be Converted into Electrical
The renewal of equipment is one of the main pillars of the Iberia Airport Services sustainability plan, which includes more than 30 initiatives.
Among others, Iberia’s airport division launched the project to transform 80% of its mobile fleet into electrical equipment.
In addition to leading to a reduction in CO2 and NOx emissions, this will provide the division with a homogeneous fleet, increasing efficiency.
At the same time, it is developing other fleet efficiency initiatives, such as equipment pooling –enabling different handling agents to share vehicles depending on workload and seasonality-, telemetry and geopositioning, allowing for the traceability and use optimisation of each piece of equipment.
HVO, the Sustainable Fuel for Airport Vehicles
Iberia Airport Services is working with Repsol, and in collaboration with Aena, to develop sustainable fuels for handling equipment.
HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) is a pioneering fuel with a carbon neutral footprint that has not yet been marketed, but which Iberia Airport Services will begin to use shortly, in the testing phase.
In addition, IBAS is assessing the possibilities of using hydrogen in its equipment, mainly as fuel for batteries.
Likewise, the airport division has designed a project for energy efficiency and control, so that all the energy supplied to its equipment comes from renewable energy sources.
For example, the equipment maintenance workshop will soon have a photovoltaic plant on the roof of the building, which will provide clean energy to the workshop as well as being used to charge the equipment.
Emissions Offset Programme
Existing technology does not allow for the electrification of 100% of the fleet, so Iberia Airport Services will offer the possibility of calculating the emissions from each ground assistance service to its client airlines, depending on the equipment and services used on each aircraft.
It will then calculate the amount that would offset these emissions and, each year, it will offer the airlines the chance to allocate this to the projects of their choice.
R+D+i in the Green Transition
Research and innovation will also allow Iberia Airport Services to advance in its transition towards net zero emissions. Among others, it has signed an agreement with the Polytechnic University of Madrid to research and develop new fleet management models to make it more sustainable.
And it also collaborates with Hangar 51 -IAG’s startup accelerator-, to assess how to implement existing and future technology to improve the efficiency of operations.