The consortium, comprising the above airports, as well as companies, government bodies, scientific and research institutions, participated in the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 framework program with a project entitled STARGATE (SusTainable AiRports, the Green heArT of Europe), and emerged as a winner from 16 entrants.
Consortia were invited to submit proposals, to contribute innovative solutions to the European Commission’s Green Deal, a long-term scheme aimed at carbon neutrality and a greener Europe.
STARGATE’s mission is to develop, test and implement innovative solutions which make the airport ecosystem significantly more sustainable. It will offer specific, short and medium-term green solutions for European airports at the level of day-to-day operations, thus creating smart, multimodal transport hubs and setting an example for other airports in Europe and beyond. Such green solutions include, for example, the development of digital twin technology, which is able to map operational processes by generating 3D models of airports, based on which new objectives, called “Bold 2050 Vision”, are defined. Another flagship solution is the creation of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), for which economic analyses and business models will be prepared, which can later be customized by the airports, in line with their own needs. Other initiatives include the development and implementation of a cloud-based, paper-free air cargo handling system, together with other sustainable projects concerning mainly the terminal, energy efficiency and traffic developments.
Joining the STARGATE project is only one among numerous efforts Budapest Airport has undertaken for the sake of a sustainable future.
In 2019, the airport operator joined ACI’s NetZero by 2050 initiative; however, it has set itself an even more ambitious target: it plans to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions to zero much sooner than 2050, with the creation of a detailed net zero roadmap, currently under preparation. To this end, it uses more and more of the latest technologies and energy-efficient solutions, such as modern insulation and heating systems, LED lights, solar panels, as well as electric or hybrid vehicles and ground service equipment. Thus, in ten years, the airport operator managed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per passenger to nearly one-third of what it used to be. Budapest Airport is not alone in environmentally conscious operation; its Greenairport program now involves more than 40 organizations operating at the airport, working together to reduce the airport’s environmental impacts. This is and will continue to be a major focus for Budapest Airport over the coming decade, as it races to net zero.