MIAMI – Airports Council International (ACI) World and its five ACI regions have announced their commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Climate change has long been an issue for aviation. Following a year-long research and consultation period, underpinned by extensive analytical and evidence-based research, this announcement by ACI is a huge step in the industries’ contribution to reducing its environmental impact.

The commitment to zero carbon emissions by 2050 was first announced by ACI Europe in June 2019. During a recent Aviation Sustainability Summit they revealed that out of their 235 airports, 91 of them are set to achieve this goal by 2030. Now the other ACI regions consisting of: ACI Africa, ACI Asia-Pacific, ACI Latin America & Caribbean, and ACI North America have agreed to join this ambitious long-term carbon goal. 

The bold announcement by ACI to reach zero net carbon emissions by 2050 was made on June, 8. Photo: United Airlines

Bold Action Required

Discussing the announcement, ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “The climate crisis requires bold action at the local, regional and global level and the goal we have set for airport members will help to drive action and identify common challenges and opportunities that can be tackled together,” 

“We set out to work with all ACI Regions and our membership globally to establish a net zero goal at a global level that airports can commit to reaching, and we urge governments to provide the necessary support for this crucial endeavour.” He added.

“The sustainability of the whole aviation sector is crucial for the present and future of the industry, it is our passport to a return to growth, and the industry has invested billions in measures and practices which have made significant progress in reducing its environmental impact.”

He continued: “Through a combination of new technology, operational efficiencies and infrastructure improvements, more than ten billion tonnes of CO2 have been averted by the industry since 1990, but we must build on this and accelerate our collective efforts to decarbonise.”

“Airports cannot do this alone, however, and this is just the first step. If they are to realise this ambitious target, they must work closely with the wider aviation community and count on the support of governments and key stakeholders to address, minimise and mitigate the environmental impacts of continued aviation growth over the long term.”

The aviation industry continues to invest billions developing new measures and practices to reduce its impact on the environment. Photo:

An Ambitious Goal

ACI recognises that this goal is very ambitious. Each airport, country and region covered is different and individual airports must work with their local governments to develop a timeline that works for them to reach the 2050 target.

“The aviation industry’s permission to operate and grow will only be granted when the communities we serve are an integral part of the work that airports, the wider aviation community, and governments are doing, together with proactive climate action which is even more critical in the recovery efforts from the pandemic.” Luis Felipe de Oliveira said.

Established in 1991 Airports Council International (ACI) is the global trade representative of the world’s airports. Billing itself as ‘The voice of the world’s airports’ it represents airports interests with Governments and international organisations as well as developing best practices, standards and policies and providing information and training to improve airport standards.