How Newcastle International will be one of the world’s first net-zero airports


By Reiss Hilton

The airport first announced its net-zero goal in 2019. It is now committed to achieving net-zero operational emissions, covering Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (energy) sources, by 2035. It also has ambitions to achieve carbon neutrality on select Scope 3 emissions by 2035. This includes staff commuting, passenger surface access, sold fuels and waste processing.

A significant proportion of its footprint (around 64%) comes from the combustion of fuels in the Landing and Take-off (LTO) cycle of up to 3,000 ft. However, the airport has very limited influence over these emissions but still aims to tackle them by being a  supporting member of the Sustainable Aviation initiative, incentivising the use of efficient aircraft such as the A320 NEO and providing more Fixed Electrical Ground Power (FEGP) units that will supply aircraft with renewable energy. 


Their Path to Net-Zero


16 MW Solar Farm

A 16 MW capacity solar farm is planned to begin in 2022 bringing significant reductions to Scope 2 emissions

Zero Carbon Heating

They are considering transitioning from natural gas heating systems to air/ground source heat pumps powered by renewable electricity.

Green Energy Contracts

They will procure 100% green electricity and green gas backed up by Guarantees of Origin.

Carbon Offsetting

They will be offsetting hard to abate emissions through tree planting schemes and verified carbon offsets.

Public Access Improvement

To help reduce Scope 3 emissions, they will work with local partners to develop better public transport provision.

Energy Efficiencies

They will retrofit energy efficient technologies that will help drive down energy use across the airport.

Key Takeaways 

Decarbonising the airport before 2035 will be a significant task, going beyond what even science-based targets demand. Airports have long recognised the need to address the impacts of carbon emissions. The industry is now acting in a collective way through the ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme (a global carbon management certification for airports) to help achieve net-zero across the board by 2050. 
The 16 MW solar farm will be pivotal in securing a net-zero future for the Newcastle International. By supplying airport buildings, vehicle charge points and aircraft Fixed Electrical Ground Power units with zero-carbon energy they will see substantial reductions from various emission sources. To find out how we can help you, please get in touch.