For the ninth year in a row, Athens International Airport (AIA) will join the WWF’s global initiative “Earth Hour” on Saturday, March 25. The airport will switch off the lighting of its western runway system (03L/21R), interrupting its operation for one hour, between 20:30 – 21:30 (local time).
It is noted that closure of the western runway system will not impact AIA’s operation; closure will take place following special planning for the one-hour duration of the action. All flights will be serviced on the airport’s eastern runway according to schedule. Reduction of lighting at the selected facilities will be done in full compliance with safety provisions for passengers, visitors, and staff.
Wishing to contribute to public awareness regarding the issue of climate change, announcements in the airport’s terminal will be made, informing passengers and visitors about the WWF’s global mobilization and the active participation of AIA. Moreover, the airport company encourages all its employees to participate at home, by dimming or shutting off the lights. Sofitel, Shell and other members of the airport community will be participating in this symbolic action to combat climate change.
Apart from its participation in such initiatives, AIA continuously undertakes actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under its direct control, including the implementation, since 2008, of a Climate Change Corporate Action Plan, which is updated on an annual basis, and the airport’s participation in Airport Carbon Accreditation, a global voluntary programme to help airports measure and manage their carbon footprint that was launched in 2009.
Following its extensive efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, AIA managed to zero out its carbon emissions for 2015 and thus became the 1st carbon neutral airport in Greece, the 25th in Europe and the 28th worldwide. This was accomplished by purchasing Guarantees of Origin from the European market that ensure that all electricity consumed by AIA was produced by renewable energy sources and by purchasing verified carbon offsets for AIA’s other remaining emissions (e.g. its vehicle fleet) that ensure that these emissions were avoided by producing clean energy in other parts of the world. As a result, AIA became accredited at the ultimate level of the programme, Neutrality.