Please find the 2022 environmental report here

The Liege Airport Environmental Policy

1. Objectives and scope

Airports, as key vectors of globalization and economic development, are today at the heart of sustainable development challenges. Recognizing its leading role in this area, Liege Airport embraces an ambitious vision: to evolve from its status as a transit cargo airport to become a leading provider of multimodal and sustainable logistic solutions. This strategic pivot, decided by its Board of Directors and built around eight fundamental pillars, aims to sustainably position Liege Airport on a growth trajectory that is respectful of its environment and the surrounding communities.

As the manager of the airport platform, Liege Airport is fully aware of its environmental impact and the need for continuous improvement in managing and preserving this aspect. In this spirit, the airport has already made significant investments and launched several major initiatives. These include the installation of a cogeneration unit, the implementation of photovoltaic panels, and the adoption of an environmental management system compliant with ISO 14001: 2015 requirements. These actions, combined with achieving Lean and Green certification and reaching level 3 of the Airport Carbon Accreditation program and the establishment of a CEM (Collaborative Environmental Management), demonstrate our commitment to more sustainable development.

The environmental roadmap of Liege Airport is the result of a structured and thoughtful approach, focusing on six key themes:

  • CO2 emissions (decarbonization);
  • Noise pollution;
  • Biodiversity;
  • Air quality;
  • Soil, surface water, and groundwater;

This roadmap defines clear objectives, a followed trajectory, and a set of performance indicators for each strategic axis to evaluate progress made. This ambitious document covers the entire spectrum of action and influence of Liege Airport and is part of the Master Plan 2023-2040, including both operating expenses (OPEX) and investments (CAPEX). Thus, the environmental policy of Liege Airport is a testament to our desire to drive positive change, reflecting our commitment to a sustainable future for aviation, our community, and our planet.

2. Key environmental programs

In line with its environmental commitments, Liege Airport has implemented key programs reflecting its ambitions to prevent and reduce the impact of its operations, infrastructure, and services on our planet. We actively engage in the fight against climate change by reducing CO2 emissions, mitigating noise pollution, preserving biodiversity, improving air quality, ensuring soil and water quality, and promoting mobility and multimodality. To reinforce this commitment, we are determined to meet legal obligations through regular monitoring, thus ensuring continuous compliance with current environmental regulations.

Our environmental objectives are carefully balanced with technological feasibility constraints, costs, and risks related to quality and safety. This policy opens the way for numerous opportunities, including reducing our environmental footprint and supporting our partners in the supply chain in their own transition towards more environmentally friendly and sustainable practices.

2.1. Greenhouse gas emissions

The air transport industry, which contributes 3 to 5% of total emissions, is committed to an environmental transition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Liege Airport plays an active role in this transformation by adopting several measures to facilitate and accelerate the transition for all operators:

  • Adaptation of infrastructure for the distribution of SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuels) to airlines since late 2022.
  • Installation of electric charging stations for users both landside and airside.
  • Actions aimed at progressive decarbonization for site operators, notably through electrification and the use of decarbonized fuels.
  • Installation of 400 Hz GPUs and e-GPUs to reduce the use of fossil energy by aircraft on the ground.
  • Commitment to the exclusive use of green electricity and increased deployment of photovoltaic panels, with a goal of significantly increasing capacity.
  • Continuous improvement in the energy efficiency of infrastructure and adoption of strict environmental standards (the most stringent BREEAM certification) for new buildings.
  • Discontinuation of trucking for supplementary kerosene supply to the airport, replacing it with train transport.

For its own emissions, Liege Airport is committed to accelerating the achievement of carbon neutrality objectives, with compensation for its own emissions by 2030 when they cannot be neutralized and absolute carbon neutrality by no later than 2050. These efforts are framed by the investment plans of the Business Plan 2023-2040, prepared to raise the ACA accreditation level of Liege Airport, aiming for level 3+ by 2030.

2.2. Noise pollution

Although the Walloon regulatory framework is highly developed and ambitious, and the policy implemented by the Walloon Region for over twenty years is already one of the most ambitious in Europe with its implementation carried out by the SOWAER, Liege Airport tackles complaints related to aircraft noise, especially during the night. Liege Airport implements various measures to help mitigate noise as much as possible, through the following actions:

  • Encouraging the use of quieter aircraft by revising airport charges,
  • Optimizing aircraft movements through a preferential runway system,
  • Incentivizing the use of ground equipment powered by electricity to avoid the use of engines or generators and the use of less noisy ground technologies,
  • Continuing work within the CEM (Collaborative Environmental Management) to find common solutions to reduce noise and fuel consumption with more efficient flight operations. Simultaneously, Liege Airport commits to investing in environmental projects in municipalities that are part of the Long-Term Development Plan (PDLT).

2.3. Biodiversity

Following an initial biodiversity inventory conducted by the University of Liège in 2023, Liege Airport is engaging in a proactive approach to preserve and enhance biodiversity on its site. This strategy focuses on several priority action areas aimed at protecting natural habitats and species while ensuring air safety.

  • Species Conservation and Management: a particular effort is made on conserving local species and managing invasive species,
  • Habitat Protection and Development: Liege Airport strives to protect natural habitats on site, such as meadows and wetlands, by adopting ecological management practices. The creation of an ecological corridor by Sowaer across 18 hectares illustrates this desire to maintain ecological connectivity,
  • Monitoring and Tracking: the establishment of a regular monitoring program allows for tracking the biodiversity evolution on the site and assessing the impact of adopted measures. Periodic inventories will be conducted to ensure the proper follow-up of actions undertaken and their effectiveness,
  • Compensatory Measures: in case of projects leading to habitat changes, Liege Airport plans compensatory measures, such as the creation of a new wetland to replace the old military storm basin.

2.4. Air quality

To improve air quality around Liege Airport, a comprehensive strategy was set up, focusing on collaboration with ISSeP and SOWAER for the permanent monitoring of air quality. This strategy is based on the requirements of the January 2023 permit, which provides for the installation of fixed measurement stations as well as the organization of mobile air quality measurement campaigns. This strategy includes:

  • Continuous Monitoring: collaboration with ISSeP and SOWAER allows for ongoing monitoring of ambient air quality and ensures real-time publication of data from fixed stations,
  • Emissions Reduction: all initiatives undertaken to reduce emissions of NOx, fine particles, and VOCs, through fleet renewal, optimization of flight procedures, and promotion of multimodality,
  • Targeted Actions: encouragement to use less polluting aircraft and for day flights (new tariff grid), adoption of more efficient flight procedures, and initiatives in favor of promoting multimodality. The effectiveness of these measures is followed through key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the concordance between measured and modeled pollutant concentrations, the amount of data recorded, and the reduction of NOx emissions attributable to the airport. This monitoring ensures continuous improvement in air quality around the airport, in line with regulatory objectives.

2.5. Soil, Surface water and groundwater

Liege Airport has developed a holistic strategy for preserving the quality of water and soil, aware of its role in protecting natural resources and mitigating environmental impacts. This strategy aims to:

  • Preserve water resource quality by managing airport activities to protect groundwater as well as surface waters.
  • Maintain soil quality through the implementation of preventative measures against contamination, conducting investigations to detect the presence of pollutants, and taking corrective actions if pollution is identified.
  • Optimize water use by reducing the consumption of potable water for operational uses, harvesting rainwater for new buildings, and exploring the possibility of infiltrating this water to preserve groundwater levels.

To achieve the objectives of this strategy, Liege Airport carries out the following key actions:

  • Using less impactful cleaning products for soil and water.
  • Implementing biological treatments for glycolated waters.
  • Auditing networks to detect leaks and raising awareness among operators about eco-responsible practices.
  • Treating and monitoring water discharges, and maintaining oil-water separators.

2.6. Mobility and multimodality

Liege Airport actively engages in promoting sustainable mobility and multimodality, a strategy approved by its Board of Directors on December 16, 2022. This strategy is based on three main axes and 15 key actions:

  • People mobility; with initiatives improving public transport offerings, creating a Mobipoint, and developing infrastructure for active modes and shared mobility.
  • Goods mobility; including the development of projects such as creating a rail freight terminal, providing secure parking areas, and infrastructures for alternative fuels (electricity, hydrogen, biofuels).
  • Technology and infrastructure; by better understanding mobility flows and needs (ANPR cameras, data exchanges, etc.), infrastructure and traffic management solutions will be better adapted to the realities of activities.

Liege Airport, benefiting from a unique geographical position on two European freight corridors and in close connection with the Port Autonome de Liege for river connections, aims to strengthen its role in multimodality. Strategic partnerships with key players and the development of multimodal projects, such as a rail freight terminal in the Cubber plain, are key initiatives to reduce heavy traffic and double rail freight by 2030, aligning with national mobility and transport objectives.

3. Commitment and transparency : keys to the Environmental Strategy

Liege Airport recognizes the crucial importance of raising awareness and engaging all stakeholders in its environmental approach. This includes not only airport staff but also suppliers, customers, tenants, and passengers, who are regularly informed and trained on sustainable practices through initiatives such as, for example, the Liege Airport Academy and a tailored communication strategy. The commitment to an integrated environmental policy is also reinforced by the inclusion of demanding sustainability clauses in contracts with building tenants and suppliers, ensuring that the entire supply chain and site operations reflect our environmental values.

Furthermore, Liege Airport’s environmental performance is measured and monitored, with transparent communication of this data in our annual reports. This policy is regularly revised to adapt to global trends, feedback from our stakeholders, and the evolution of our corporate strategy, highlighting our ongoing commitment to sustainable development. Available for consultation by everyone, both internally and externally, on the Liege Airport website, this policy demonstrates our willingness to work collaboratively with our stakeholders for a sustainable future.

(April, 2024)