As part of its call for projects “CEF – Transport – Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility” (AFIF), the European Commission has announced a new project financed with the Banque des Territoires (Caisse des Dépôts Group).

Among the 26 projects selected by the European Commission during this fourth tranche of the call for projects is the Nice Côte d’Azur airport project aimed at electrifying airport ground operations. The European Union will allocate approximately 4.1 million euros in subsidies to the project which the Caisse des Dépôts via the Banque des Territoires will finance, in quasi-equity, to the tune of 4.6 million euros.

To achieve the ambitious objectives set by the European Green Deal in terms of green mobility and environmental transition, the European Commission is mobilising AFIF and its implementation partners, including Caisse des Dépôts in France, to finance projects such as Nice Côte d’Azur airport. This project directly contributes to the implementation of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Deployment Regulation (AFIR) that maintains that airports will have to provide electricity to parked aircraft at all contact parking stands (airgates). boarding by 2025 and at all remote parking bays by 2030.

As part of its CAP 2030 climate strategy, the Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur (ACA) group, of which Caisse des Dépôts is a shareholder, aims not only to achieve “NetZero carbon emissions without compensation” by 2030 at the latest. for its own emissions (scope 1 and 2) but also to reduce its scope 3 emissions (those of its stakeholders). This is why reducing the environmental footprint of the entire air transport chain is fundamental.

By electrifying ground operations, the project will save approximately 6,700 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year at Nice Côte d’Azur.

Concretely, the project aims to electrify remote aircraft stations via the installation of 50 Hz sockets on 69 aircraft stations. This will power mobile equipment providing parked aircraft with electricity and air conditioning during ground operations. The project will make it possible to actively contribute to the continued reduction of CO2 emissions from aircraft stopping at the airport because this will significantly limit the use of ground support equipment using fuel or the use of auxiliary engines (APU) of aircraft during ground operations.

In addition, ACA will also set up electric charging stations to support the electrification of the vehicle fleet and slope equipment. The two components of the project will be gradually deployed until 2026.

“This project to electrify ground services at Nice Côte d’Azur airport is emblematic of the essential role that airports play in the decarbonisation of the aviation sector. Thanks to the grant from the European Union and funding from the Banque des Territoires, this virtuous project, supported by local stakeholders, will contribute very concretely to achieving the objectives of the Green Deal for Europe.

The European Union will continue to support these sustainable initiatives, in partnership with financial institutions, and will therefore launch, in the first quarter of 2024, a new AFIF call for projects with nearly one billion euros,” said Richard Ferrer , Head of the Alternative Fuels sector at the European Agency for Climate, Infrastructure and Environment (CINEA).

“Being the laboratory for the airport of tomorrow means taking concrete action to massively reduce CO2 emissions from airport operations. After being the first airport in France to obtain Airport Carbon Accreditation level 4+ Transition, Nice Côte d’Azur airport was a pioneer in the electrification of ground handling operations for general and commercial aviation. This new step is fully in line with our strategy of decarbonisation of our operations as well as those of our partners, companies and ground handlers. We therefore warmly thank the European Commission and Caisse des Dépôts for their support of this ambition,” said Franck Goldnadel, President of the Directory of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur.