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The summer holidays kick off at Brussels Airport.

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The summer holidays kick off at Brussels Airport.

The summer holidays are about to kick off. Over the next two months, Brussels Airport is to welcome over 4.7 million passengers as they jet off to the 180 destinations scheduled for this summer. It’s going to be very busy, but all partners at Brussels Airport have joined forces to prepare for the rush and provide our passengers with a pleasant airport experience. And this summer, BRUce, the virtual personal assistant, will be at passengers’ side to give them updates about their flight and help them get ready to fly off to their destination. 

Starting this Friday, Brussels Airport is expecting to welcome a large number of passengers eager to go on holiday and discover new places. Nearly 80,000 passengers (departing and arriving) are expected to pass through Brussels Airport on this first day of the holiday period, followed by an equally busy weekend with 71,000 and 77,000 passengers respectively on Saturday and Sunday. With the staggered holidays for Dutch- and French-speaking schools, Brussels Airport is also set for a second busy weekend of departures on 7, 8 and 9 July, with a total of 231,000 passengers passing through its gates. In total, over the whole of the summer holidays, Brussels Airport is expecting to welcome more than 4.7 million passengers, up 15% on the 2022 figures.

Heading for the beach, the mountains or the city streets? In Europe or on other continents? This summer, 58 airlines will be serving no fewer than 180 destinations directly from Brussels Airport. The most popular remain the classic summer destinations such as Spain and the Canary Islands, Greece, Turkey, Portugal, Morocco, Italy, Tunisia, the Cape Verde Islands and Egypt. New destinations for the summer season include Shenzhen, Seville, Billund, Monastir, Oran, Bejaia, Constantine, Tlemcen and Toronto (from 1 August).

Additional automated border control gates and tips & tricks by BRUce

To cope with this huge influx, all the partners at Brussels Airport have been working together for months to organise and optimise passenger flows. This has seen us roll out several measures. For example, the capacity at border control in Connector has been increased with three new automated border control gates bringing the total to 12 gates, in addition to the border control booths manned by the Federal Police. These ABC-gates can be used by passengers with an EU passport and British nationals travelling outside the Schengen Area.

Additional staff have been laid on to inform and guide passengers through the terminal. Signage has also been added in certain areas, such as screening, with advice to passengers to help them prepare for the security checks and facilitate operations.

To make for a smooth summer, it is also important that passengers are well prepared and arrive in time at the airport, that they check in online and prepare their hand luggage in accordance with the regulations in force, for liquids in particular. And for all this and more, BRUce, the virtual personal assistant for passengers, will be the ideal travel companion. Once they have entered their flight number on the Brussels Airport website, passengers will receive, via Messenger or Whatsapp, all the updates and information they need about their flight, waiting times at screening, the boarding gate number and lots of travel tips.

And because holidays are also all about relaxing and having fun, and should start as soon as you set foot at Brussels Airport, the airport has put up summer decorations all over the terminal, complete with palm trees and deckchairs. A photo challenge is also being organised, with fantastic travel prizes up for grabs. Finally, as in previous years, Brussels Airport has teamed up with the Tomorrowland festival to offer several DJ sets on 24 and 31 July in the heart of the terminal, between the Connector and Pier A. Feel them vibes!

It’s going to be a great summer at Brussels Airport!

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Brussels Airport Company accelerates net zero carbon ambition to 2030

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Brussels Airport Company accelerates net zero carbon ambition to 2030

Brussels Airport Company has dramatically accelerated its ambition to achieve Net Zero Carbon. By 2030, within under seven years, the airport operator aims to stop emitting all carbon dioxide. The previously announced new heating plant will already reduce CO2 emissions by almost 70%. In addition, measures will be taken to heat the buildings in the cargo area without emitting CO2 and the production of green electricity is being increased.

Brussels Airport Company has already been carbon neutral for its own emissions as airport operator since 2018. Green energy is used for all buildings and infrastructure managed by Brussels Airport Company, for its own operations as a company and for the fleet of company vehicles. The remaining emissions are offset by supporting green projects in Asia according to international golden standards. Brussels Airport Company had committed within the framework of ACI Europe to become Net Zero Carbon by 2050 at the latest (for scope 1 and 2), but that goal will now be significantly accelerated.

“I am very happy to announce that we can dramatically accelerate our ambition to become Net Zero Carbon as a company. We had already committed to completely stop emitting carbon dioxide by 2050 at the latest, in line with the Paris agreement, while exploring options to achieve this goal faster. With the new central heating plant that will be ready early 2027 and other planned measures, such as additional investments in green energy production, achieving Net Zero Carbon will already be possible by 2030. An important step for the sustainable future of Brussels Airport.,” said Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company. 

As previously announced, Brussels Airport Company plans to replace its central heating plant with a Net Zero Carbon installation by early 2027, to provide the airport’s terminal buildings with completely CO2-free heating. Replacing this installation with an innovative gas-free alternative will lead to a reduction of some 70% of Brussels Airport Company’s total CO2 emissions. Moreover, Brussels Airport will also switch to CO2-free energy for its buildings in the airport’s cargo area by 2030.

Additional solar panels will be added on the airport grounds and green electricity generated by wind power will be purchased. In combination with the standard use of sustainable fossil-free heating techniques in the construction of new buildings on the airport grounds, the full electrification of the company car fleet by 2026 and the further electrification of the service vehicles, this will ensure that Brussels Airport Company as a company will no longer emit CO2 by 2030 (scope 1 and 2). An accelerated achievement of the net zero carbon ambition to respond to today’s climate challenges. Thus Brussels Airport Company confirms its commitment to accelerate its efforts to make the airport more sustainable.

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Birmingham Airport and ZeroAvia explore plans for renewable hydrogen production

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Birmingham Airport and ZeroAvia explore plans for renewable hydrogen production

Progress continues towards zero-emission passenger flights as initial concepts were revealed today for the creation of a hydrogen production facility at Birmingham Airport (BHX). 

To realise this dream, early-stage concepts are being developed jointly by ZeroAvia, the hydrogen-electric aircraft developer, and BHX for on-site hydrogen production aircraft refueling facility, with the potential for multi-modal applications.  

An area of land with access to the BHX airfield and the local road network has been earmarked as a suitable location for the facility. On-site solar power is being considered as a source of renewable energy to produce hydrogen. 

Subject to funding, planning and regulatory permissions being secured, the ambition would be to use the pioneering plant to support early flight  demonstrations, and also refuel road vehicles, potentially including local buses. In advance of this, BHX has commenced talks with a major automotive company about trialing hydrogen buses and cars on its airfield.  

Analysis by ZeroAvia suggests a 3MW hydrogen production facility could produce 365 tonnes of hydrogen annually (1 tonne per day), potentially supporting 1,250 regional flights and 3,000 buses or trucks per annum, with the remaining 250 kg per day of hydrogen production capacity being used for industrial purposes. 

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said on visiting the site: “There is the seed of an idea here – with the ambition and creativity of the ZeroAvia team working with Birmingham Airport clear to see. 

“Our region is leading the way in tackling the climate emergency – not least with our #WM2041 net zero commitment – so it’s the right time for us to be at  the forefront of this effort to decarbonise flight journeys. 

“I look forward to this initiative bearing fruit in the months and years ahead. If this dream becomes a reality, we will all benefit.”

Arnab Chatterjee, VP, Infrastructure, ZeroAvia, said: “Our ambition is bold but attainable. We have proven the concept of hydrogen-powered flights and are on a clear pathway to commercial adoption. Technologies are advancing fast as we progress with expanding to larger aircraft over longer distances. Before the end of this decade, we believe hydrogen as a fuel source for vehicles and aircraft will be an accepted norm.” 

Simon Richards, Chief Finance and Sustainability Officer for BHX, said: “While we are still at a very early stage, it is important to communicate this vision so people can see what is coming and the benefits to the wider community. This is a game-changing prospect underpinned by a steely determination to decarbonise and protect the future of our planet for future generations.” 

In January of 2023, ZeroAvia carried out successful test flights at its base in Kemble, Gloucestershire, using a 20-seater aircraft powered by a hydrogen-electric engine. ZeroAvia plans to certify its ZA600 system for this size of aircraft by 2025, while looking to certify engines for up to 80 seat aircraft by 2027.  Hydrogen fuel cells generate electricity which then powers electric motors to turn the aircraft’s propellers. The only emission is water vapour. 

ZeroAvia is currently working on bringing to market a zero-emission system capable of flying 20-seat aircraft 300 nautical miles by 2025. 

This opens up the possibility of green air travel from Birmingham to destinations such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Belfast, Isle of Man and Dublin by the middle of this decade.  

In a move that would make zero-emission travel to Mediterranean holiday destinations a reality, ZeroAvia is aiming to get an emissions-free 80-seat  aircraft flying up to 1,000 nautical miles by 2027.   

For BHX, the partnership with ZeroAvia sits alongside its own journey to become a net-zero-carbon airport by 2033, as outlined in its ‘carbon roadmap’* published in 2022.  

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