(HELSINKI)

Finland has announced it wants to reduce carbon emissions from operations at its airports to zero by 2020.

Finavia – the state body that looks after the country’s 21 airports – said Helsinki Airport will get there this year once a major solar power plant is opened onsite.

“Now that the international climate policy has faced difficulties through the unexpected withdrawal of the United States, it is even more important that companies lead the way in reducing emissions. Finavia is committed to working hard to prevent our airports from increasing their carbon dioxide emissions in 2020. In addition to minimising our own emissions, this means that we are committed to reducing emissions in countries struggling with environmental problems, such as in India, through compensation mechanisms,” said Kari Savolainen, CEO of Finavia.

The move will have a major impact on the goal agreed by European airport companies to make 100 airports – across the continent – carbon-neutral airports by 2030.

Belfast Airport is another that is benefitting from a switch to solar.

These are just two examples of efforts going on within the wider innovation economy to make air transport greener. Ideas like the endless runway  – for example – replicate the capacity of a conventional airport with four runways, using the length of just three, making it greener and more efficient.