Budapest Airport is fully committed to sustainability, including emissions reduction, and takes decisive steps year after year to maintain its carbon neutral operations and achieve its sustainability targets. As a result, last year the company was again part of the global elite group of only 58 airports that achieved level 3+ of the airport carbon accreditation scheme and are carbon neutral, i.e. fully offsetting the carbon emissions generated by their operations.
Last year, the company further reduced its direct carbon dioxide emissions, which are now half the level of what they were ten years ago. In 2021, Budapest Airport set the primary goal to reach net zero emissions 15 years earlier than previously committed, by 2035 at the latest, which it will achieve along its so-called zero carbon roadmap. One of the ways to achieve this is through the development of e-mobility at the airport, which has been a key focus area for the company in recent years.
Budapest Airport is constantly developing the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, both inside and outside the airport fence, and continuously encourages its partner companies to develop e-mobility as well. Recently, 76 conventional ground handling vehicles, as well as 10 fleet and manager cars were replaced with electric or hybrid models, saving a total of 140,000 liters of fuel and 350 tons of carbon dioxide per year. So far, Budapest Airport has installed 31 electric vehicle charging points, 12 of which are located in the airside and 19 in the landside, i.e. in the freely accessible part of the airport. Budapest Airport has assisted in the installation of a further 30 electric charging stations on the airport premises for its partners engaged in ground transportation. Főtaxi, Budapest Airport’s contracted taxi partner also prioritizes the promotion of e-mobility, and has already replaced 30% of its fleet with electric vehicles. There are already six ultra fast electric chargers in Főtaxi’s buffer car park at the airport, which is expected to increase by 26 charging points by the end of 2025.
In addition, last year the airport operator concluded a contract for the installation of 35 more chargers and the implementation of an IT system to integrate them, which is currently being rolled out. The system will also handle tasks related to usage and invoicing, whereby users will be able to use the chargers easily. The existing online e-charger booking system helps staff with electric cars to book chargers for their company and private cars quickly and easily.
The next major step in this series of developments will be the installation of an additional 176 e-chargers. The construction of 134 charging stations will be financed 50% by the company and 50% by the European Union. In December 2021, Budapest Airport was included in the government’s list of projects to be financed by the Connecting Europe Facility for the significant development of electric charging infrastructure, which will provide a total of 1.3 billion HUF (3.2 million EUR) to install additional chargers for ground handlers, airport service vehicles and the airport-based vehicles of partner companies. The project will run for 36 months, and the extent of EU support is 50%, i.e. nearly 650 million HUF (1,601,250 million EUR). The remaining 42 e-chargers will be installed by the airport operator using its own resources.
Chris Dinsdale, the CEO of Budapest Airport emphasized: “Our company is fully committed to reducing our carbon footprint. We have taken firm action, and we have made ambitious undertakings. We have committed to achieving ACI’s highest level of 4+ carbon neutrality by the end of 2023, we have pledged to be net zero emitters in 14 years at the latest and we have undertaken to meet our electricity needs entirely from renewable sources from 2023. Our plans also include the construction of a solar farm, to generate electricity solely for use at the airport. Many small steps and some giant strides are needed to achieve our plans, and what is even more important is to act responsibly and to put words into action, thereby setting an example for other airports, as a community and as an airport ecosystem.”