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55 Airports Now in Emissions Reduction Program

Some 55 major European airports are now part of a program aimed at cutting carbon emissions, trade organization Airports Council International has announced.

Airports now part of Airport Carbon Accreditation – including London’s Gatwick and Heathrow and both Paris airports – together account for half of all European passenger traffic, The Washington Post reports.

The airports involved in the project are enacting such measures as changing airport vehicles to electric or hybrid power and instigating special low-fuel use taxiing guidelines, AIC said. Airports are also supplying ground power to aircraft, so planes do not have to sit with their engines idling, the newspaper reports.

Airport Carbon Accreditation was adopted in 2008 and aims to cut emissions across all airports involved. It has the ultimate goal of airport carbon neutrality, the Post reports.

The 43 airports accredited by the program last year eliminated 729,689 tons of greenhouse gases, according to AIC.

In November 2011, the Chicago Department of Aviation announced a series of sustainability initiatives for airports under its remit.

Plans include a 60-acre solar panel installation and an alternative fueling station for private and commercial vehicles at O’Hare International Airport, and a composting program for some restaurants operating at Midway International Airport.

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