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Visby Airport / Peter Phillips, Swedavia

Visby Airport is now “entirely fossil-free”

Swedish airport operator Swedavia wants fossil-free operations at all ten of its airports by 2020.

Operations at Visby Airport on the Swedish island of Gotland have become entirely fossil-free, the airport operator Swedavia says.

Following “years of focused work” including the electrification of the airport’s vehicles, a switch in fuels and various efficiency measures, VBY has now secured a position as, the operator states, “one of the most climate-smart in the world”.

The move is part of a drive in the aviation industry in the Nordic region towards a more sustainable future, with alternative fuels and carbon-free airports seen as the future for the region, leading the way for the rest of Europe.

Swedavia declares that as an airport operator it “aims to be an international role model in sustainability”. Its objective is to have entirely fossil-free operations at all ten of its airports by 2020 at the latest.

Visby Airport has now achieved this objective two years ahead of the deadline. Over ten years, fossil carbon dioxide emissions there have fallen from about 300 tonnes a year to zero.

“There is a great transformation underway in the transport sector right now, with reduced fossil carbon dioxide emissions being the top priority,” acknowledges Gunnar Jonasson, Visby Airport’s director.

“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.”

Eliminating fossil fuels
Intensive work to replace all vehicles that run on fossil fuel energy – everything from fire trucks to snow removal equipment – accounts for much of the reduction at Visby.

The airport’s energy is now provided by green, or renewable, electricity. Swedavia also claims that it buys biofuel for its employees’ travel on official business, meaning this too is fossil-free.

The operator is also trying to influence other stakeholders in the industry to get them to reduce their climate impact and is involved in work to facilitate the large-scale use of biofuel in aviation.

With the right measures in place, Swedavia thinks Swedish domestic air transport can be fossil-free by as early as 2030 and the country’s international air transport can be fossil-free by 2045.

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