ACI World Launches Green Financing Project, Aims To Transform Airports Into Energy Hubs

IATA AGM welcome sign
Credit: Natalia Mroz/IATA

ISTANBUL—A project designed to establish a framework to facilitate airports’ access to green financing is being launched by Airports Council International (ACI) World.

The initiative will seek to establish clear guidelines and criteria that will streamline the evaluation process for banks and investors, making it easier for airports to secure the necessary funds for sustainability-linked developments.

“We need to invest $2.4 trillion in the airports for the future—that is what is required to cope with the expected demand over the next 20 years,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira told ATW at the IATA AGM in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 5.

“However, when our members began competing for green finance, they found themselves being compared to other infrastructure projects. These projects ranged from shopping malls to road transport initiatives.

“By establishing applicable standards specifically for airports, we aim to assist our members in accessing green finance for the necessary investments required to sustain growth and meet future demand.”

De Oliveira said that ACI World was in the process of hiring external consultants to lead the project, which is expected to take about 18 months to complete. It will involve working with banks and standard-setting bodies like the International Sustainability Standards Board.

It is hoped that the framework being developed by ACI World will provide a roadmap for airports to follow, ensuring that they meet the necessary requirements to qualify for green financing.

“Our goal is to develop a universally accepted standard that can be embraced by banks and investors, including pension funds,” de Oliveira added. “Sustainability is becoming increasingly crucial for the sector, and we strive to be a part of the solution rather than the problem. This is why gaining access to green finance is of utmost importance to us.”

In tandem with this initiative, de Oliveira said that ACI World plans to unveil a partnership with the World Economic Forum at ACI Europe/World's Annual General Assembly, Conference & Exhibition in Barcelona later this month that will introduce the concept of airports as energy hubs. This idea places renewable energy production at the center of airport operations.

“We believe it is imperative for us to be actively involved in the energy revolution driven by sustainable aviation fuels, electricity and hydrogen,” de Oliveira explained. “This partnership aims to transform airports from being passenger and airline connectors to becoming energy hubs.”

The project—"Airports of Tomorrow"—will involve stakeholders from energy and engine manufacturers, airlines, fuel suppliers and airports themselves. De Oliveira said it has the potential to alter the perception of airports worldwide.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.