Nicolas Notebaert, the President of the VINCI Airports company, which owns Portugal’s 10 major airports, has pledged that within a decade these facilities will produce zero carbon emissions. According to him, as quoted by The Portugal News, this will make the Iberian country the first in Europe and the world with climate-neutral airports.
The promise was made in the context of two events that took place in the southern resort city of Faro. There, last week, government officials (among whom PM Antonio Costa) gathered to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the first aerial crossing of the Southern Atlantic between Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro (8300 km).
Portuguese airports in focus
The pioneering flight was completed in 1922 by Gago Countinho. Thus in his honour, the Faro Airport will bear his name in the future, as a way to underline Portugal’s openness to the world and cosmopolitan nature.
However, also keeping up with the beat of contemporary issues, Nicolas Notebaert announced the commissioning of a solar power plant at Faro airport. With a capacity of 3MWp, it enables VINCI Airports to produce 30% of the airport's electricity needs, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 1,500 tonnes per year.
The first airport solar power plant in the country, it was financed, developed, built and is operated by VINCI Airports through SunMind (VINCI Concessions' photovoltaic subsidiary). The energy-producing complex thus represents a blueprint and a good representation of what is come and how the operator company plans to make good on its ambitious goal.
Faro Airport is the third busiest in Portugal and serves as a gateway to the country’s southernmost region – Algarve. In terms of operational recovery, the airport recovered about 90% of its 2019 traffic in the first half of the year, thanks to new services opened in recent months.