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Decarbonated Airport Regions (D-AIR)
Start date: Dec 31, 2011, End date: Dec 30, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Airports are increasingly vital to the prosperity of regions. They are no longer just part of the economy, but are instead increasingly defining regional economic ecosystems. However, the growing economic importance and growth of airports needs to be balanced against adverse environmental impacts as emissions from civil aviation have increased significantly in the last decades. Besides, it is forecasted that air traffic will more than double by 2020. Therefore, a lack of appropriate ecological measures now, will only lead to even greater emissions of greenhouse gases from aviation and the surface transport linked to it.D-AIR largely contributes to converting airports into ecological sustainable transport hubs. It deals with 2 main elements of airport operations that can fall in the competence of public authorities and public bodies: surface accessibility to airport zones and CO2 neutrality of airport operator activities, respectively, the 2 main project sub-themes. The projectpays special attention to the optimal involvement of business and R&D communities in creating well connected green airports, by contributing to new innovative products and services needed to realize prompt actions on the ground. Exchange of experience will be carried out in the form of study visits, with each partner region hosting peer review workshops along the sub-themes, based on detailed start-position analyses. Study visit findings will be collected in study visit reports that will be elaborated into regional implementation plans with concrete actions and financial schemes, to be endorsed by each region’s decision-makers. The outcome of this study visit process will be synthesised in transnational best-of documents, along the sub-themes of CO2 neutrality and transport links. These documents will include concrete policy recommendations, to be widely disseminated to other airport regions and interested parties within and beyond the D-AIR partnership.D-AIR unites 10 regions with 14 partner organisations, all having clear ambitions to significantly reduce CO2 emissions linked to airport operations: Eindhoven (NL), Terres de France (FR), Stockholm (SE), Leipzig (DE), Vienna (AT), Bologna (IT), El Prat de Llobregat (ES), Malta (MT), Mazovia (PL), Prague (CZ). The consortium is completed with ARC, a European network uniting airport regions. All of the D-AIR partners are well aware of the need to find the optimal balance between economic growth of their airports and environmental sustainability, which, if properly carried out, significantly contributes to the sustainable development of Europe's urban environments. Achievements: D-AIR is about converting European airports into sustainable transport hubs by reducing CO2-emissions through improving airport operator activities and surface access. The long term objective is creating transnational guidance on how to achieve decarbonized airport regions. D-AIR is a tool for sharing expertise. D-AIR is based on a peer review methodology in the frame of study visits, including experts from each region along the 2 themes. D-AIR brings together public authorities and airport operators with business and R&D communities. Key elements of the work are start position reports (as a benchmark), study visits (to each partner region), study visit reports (both from hosting and visiting partners), regional implementation plans and transnational best-of documents. D-AIR’s main results will be regional implementation plans, in-depth knowledge on the 2 project themes, related policies and engaging triple helix players, transfer of good practices and recommendations to the EU and Member States on the relevance of decarbonized airport regions. D-AIR unites 10 regions with 14 partner organizations: Eindhoven (NL), Agglomeration Community Lands of France (FR), Stockholm (SE), Leipzig (DE), Vienna (AT), Bologna (IT), El Prat de Llobregat (ES), Malta (MT), Mazovia (PL) and Prague (CZ). As to the implementation of D-AIR, the kick-off meeting was in Eindhoven on 20 March 2012. Focus was on launching the project and preparing for the study visits and the publicity framework. As to the exchange of experience, the 1st study visit was organized in El Prat on 19 - 20 June. The study visit comprised meetings at the airport and in El Prat, and guiding around by bus and on foot. An expert coordination meeting on CO2-reduction through airport operator activities was held by AENA (owner of Spanish airports) by discussing the master plan. Next, an expert meeting on sustainable surface access was led by the Metropolitan Transport Authority on engaging regional transport stakeholders. And a meeting was organized on innovation projects. As to the 2nd study visit in Eindhoven on 6 - 7 November 2012, at the opening session the Vice Mayor stressed that the project fits in very well with the municipal objectives on sustainability, accessibility and innovation. Excellent sustainable landside accessibility of the airport and new techniques to avoid or reduce air and noise pollution are needed, also to perform the ambition of climate neutrality of the airport by 2045, the Vice Mayor said. The study visit comprised expert coordination meetings at the airport and in the city. The expert coordination meeting on CO2-reduction through airport operator activities was organized in cooperation with Airports Council International (ACI). The meeting focused on Airport Carbon Accreditation with an introduction by ACI. All Project Partners addressed their experiences with the subject. In the expert coordination meeting on sustainable surface accessibility the case of Eindhoven Airport surface accessibility was discussed from the perspective of an integral urban development. Project Partners were also asked to present their situation and plans. Furthermore, part of the meeting was an interactive airport fair having involved hardware suppliers of Eindhoven Airport. The final part of the expert meeting was about innovation having involved external experts on innovative projects, project organizations and public procurement. An other project activity was the 1st policy message event in Brussels on 18 December 2012. In this event participated relevant EU level policy- & decision makers and other mainly logistic parties. This was an important milestone as for the 1st tier D-AIR results into the larger European policy context. It was said that airport sustainability fits within the larger picture of economic impact, environmental performance and others. In the next reporting period study visits will take place in Malta, Tremblay and Stockholm.

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