Environmental responsibility and quality of service central to the new airport strategy

Published on

On Tuesday 17 December, the supervisory board(1) of Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport validated its new strategic plan for 2023.

It prioritises actions in favour of environmentally-responsible development to reconcile airport growth, which is essential for the socio-economic development of the region, with sustainable development that respects the environment and local residents. Jointly written by the stakeholders, this ambitious €169-million plan also focusses on developing the airport’s quality of service and its economic contribution to the region.

A plan to actively support the energy transition, limiting airport pollution and the preservation of biodiversity.

Aware of its impact on the environment and the local population, Bordeaux Airport has decided to accelerate its transition towards environmental responsibility through new commitments, representing up to 20% of its investments.
Placed at the forefront of its new strategy, these commitments are reflected in a sustainable development plan that is consistent with local initiatives, in particular the Nouvelle-Aquitaine SRADDET(2) objectives to “offer the region an adapted and optimised airport service, while aiming to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and targeting innovation”, as well as the Bordeaux-Aéroparc OIM(3) project, whose economic role is designed to include the protection of the local surroundings and environment.

In its new plan, Bordeaux Airport pays particular attention to the local population and the prevention and reduction of noise pollution with the creation of a working group in the framework of the CCE(4) (especially on night flights). Also worth noting is the proposal to revise the Noise Exposure Plan and the Sound Disruption Plan.

Carbon neutrality within ten years

Among its key objectives, Bordeaux Airport is targeting carbon neutrality by 2030. To achieve this, it is focusing on actions to reduce energy consumption and increase use of renewable energies, and undertakes to decrease its emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants by 37% by 2023, thus anticipating and largely exceeding the objective of the French Law for Energy Transition and Green Growth (-20% in 2025). It is also aiming to prevent diffuse and accidental soil and water pollution.
As part of the plan, the commitment to new energy-efficient buildings and the upgrading of older ones was already anticipated in 2019, with the current construction site for "Satellite 3”, the new international pier in Hall A, designed in accordance with High Environmental Quality requirements.
In terms of access and transport, after launching its first free charging stations for electric vehicles in 2018 (P1/P2 car parks), the airport is committed to continuing to develop and promote more environmentally friendly land travel, such as public transport, car-sharing and cycling. For its own fleet of vehicles, the airport company is aiming for the renewal of all its eligible service fleet with electric or hybrid vehicles by the end of the plan.
In parallel, the Airport is supporting actions to limit waste production and water consumption, aiming for a 10% reduction in waste collection and drinking water consumption per passenger over the period of the plan.

In compliance with aviation safety requirements, the preservation and promotion of biodiversity is also one of the airport's key investments: a global biodiversity study will be launched in 2020.
To attest to its commitment, Bordeaux Airport has chosen to provide a framework for its new environmental approach with internationally recognized certifications. In particular, it aims to guarantee the effectiveness of its environmental management policy by obtaining certification in ISO 14001 in 2020. In 2023, the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) Level 2 certification(5) will attest to its actions to reduce greenhouse gases.

Modernized and improved quality of service

Improving quality of service, in conjunction with all the platform's partners, is another major focus of the new airport strategy. It is based in particular on a €169-million investment programme and major infrastructure projects initiated in 2018 to shape the new identity of the airport by 2023: accessible, well-equipped, better integrated within the region and in line with the needs expressed.
The airport is continuing its work in this area to improve traffic flows and parking with the addition of a multi-storey car park. Just a few weeks after Transports Bordeaux Métropole's commissioning of a new transversal bus line, which prefigures the future Technobus service, the building work on the airport traffic lanes and forecourt is already under way to prepare for the arrival of tram Line A which, in 2022, will provide complete and efficient multimodal access to the airport as part of Bordeaux Métropole's major efforts to improve the accessibility of the whole airport zone.
Among the major new infrastructure projects, the construction of the new "Satellite 3" pier in Hall A, which will open in spring 2020, the increase in capacity of the Billi terminal (2021) and the junction of Halls A and B (early 2024) will be accompanied by the creation of 2,200m² of additional waiting areas and retail space. Combined with measures to make passenger travel easier, in particular the installation of biometric recognition systems at border-control checkpoints (Parafe)(6), this increased capacity will also make it possible to improve the quality of service for passengers.

Aiming for a strengthened economic contribution

Bordeaux Airport’s new strategic plan also aims to improve connectivity for local socio-economic growth, particularly employment, as demonstrated by the creation of the easyJet and Ryanair bases, generating 200 new positions in direct employment and others in indirect employment.
The new plan is also accompanied by marked investment by the airport in favour of sustainable development and also includes investments linked to stricter requirements of sovereign security missions. Thus, in a context of more moderate growth in air traffic and the sustained long-term effect of the high-speed train line at Bordeaux-Mérignac airport, the plan commits the airport to reconciling investments of an unprecedented scale with maintaining a solid economic model.

(1) The Bordeaux-Mérignac airport company is in charge of the operation, maintenance, management and development of the airport zone, its infrastructure and air services. A company with a Supervisory Board and a Management Board,
its shareholding is divided between the State (60%), Bordeaux-Gironde Chamber of Commerce and Industry (25%)
and local authorities - Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Conseil Général de Gironde, Bordeaux Métropole, Ville de Bordeaux, Ville de Mérignac - (15%).
(2) SRADDET - Regional Planning, Sustainable Development and Equality Scheme.
(3) OIM - Operation of Metropolitan Interest.
(4) CCE - Consultative Commission for the Environment
(5) The Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) certification is a voluntary commitment program to reduce CO2 emissions in the airport sector, led by ACI Europe (Airport Council International).
(6) PARAFE - Rapid Automated External Border Control system