Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 30 November 2023: Dubai Airports, operator of the world's biggest airport for international traffic, Dubai International (DXB), has joined Airports of Tomorrow — a collaborative venture by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Airports Council International (ACI). This partnership is dedicated to steering the aviation industry toward Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050, focusing on critical areas such as energy, infrastructure, and financing.
Sven Deckers, Director of Strategy Planning at Dubai Airports said, “We've aligned with the World Economic Forum because we recognise the critical importance of collaboration in addressing environmental sustainability challenges - in the aviation industry, competition is non-existent. This is a collective effort where all airports are united in a race against time. Together, we're committed to achieving a net-zero future for the aviation industry.
In the lead up to COP28, the annual international climate summit being held in the UAE, and on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow 2023, Dubai Airports hosted a delegation of top representatives from the Airports of Tomorrow community. The group held a Brainstorm Breakfast to select three ideas for pilot projects to be developed by the community. Welcomed to Dubai Airports by Edward Slater, Senior Vice President of Strategy & Planning at Dubai Airports, the group toured key facilities at DXB including the hub's 140km baggage handling system, and the solar energy installation at Terminal 2 – the largest of its kind at any Middle Eastern airport.
This initiative aligns seamlessly with Dubai Airports' commitment to advancing sustainable aviation practices through strategic collaboration. The company has demonstrated notable success in recent years with several key initiatives, including installing a 15,000-panel solar energy system – the largest at any Middle Eastern airport. Other achievements include diverting 60% of waste generated at its facilities away from landfills, converting 100% of waste cooking oil into biodiesel, and ongoing efforts to integrate electric ground operations vehicles. Facility upgrades for enhanced energy efficiency and the widespread replacement of conventional lights with energy-efficient LED fixtures further underscore the airport's environmental commitment.
Airports of Tomorrow employs a comprehensive approach, tackling hydrogen and battery electric propulsion, the expansion of biofuel and synthetic SAFs, and exploring new innovations in aviation decarbonisation. With ambitious industry-wide goals, such as achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and scaling up a minimum of 300 SAF plants by 2030, the initiative is helping to harness the power of airport ecosystems to shape a sustainable future for aviation.