HVO is Propelling Sustainability at Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport is Ireland’s busiest and Europe’s 12th busiest airport. In 2022, Dublin Airport welcomed over 28 million passengers flying to and from Europe, North America, and the Middle East. 

This volume of air traffic means that a massive fleet of heavy machinery is required to operate across the Airport campus to ensure flights get away smoothly, baggage is transported correctly, and runways and airport facilities are maintained and kept safe.

Given the scale of the heavy machinery fleet which the DAA operates at Dublin Airport, the collection of machines and vehicles has a considerable carbon footprint. This has been one of the key focus areas of the DAA’s sustainability team in recent years. 

Increasingly, passengers, as well as the companies which operate on campus including airlines, retailers, and other contractors are questioning how the DAA can reduce on-site carbon emissions and champion sustainability for all stakeholders at the airport.

Added to this, the DAA and Dublin Airport have set out their own targets to reduce carbon emission by 50% by 2030 as well as becoming net-zero in terms of carbon emissions by 2050.

One of the first steps in achieving this goal was the rolling out of electric vehicles across the light-fleet operating on-site. However, given the size and power requirements of the airport’s heavier fleet, electric power was simply not an option for this requirement.

In April 2023, the DAA and Dublin Airport conducted a trial to test the effectiveness of HVO fuel as the alternative to diesel fuel for the heavy fleet in an effort to dramatically reduce the associated carbon footprint of the fleet which includes ambulances, fire trucks, snow and ice clearing vehicles, tractors, as well as some jeeps, and airside vans which until now have run on diesel.

"The impressive piece of transitioning towards HVO was the ease of transition. It is a direct replacement so we had no additional investment required in infrastructure or modifications to vehicles to take the HVO.

Not only is it reducing our carbon footprint but it's also making the engines run cleaner because of less carbon build up and vehicles will perform far better than running on conventional diesel."

7 different categories of vehicles were tested at Dublin Airport to trial the usage of 10,000 litres of HVO fuel. The positive results of the successful trial period has led the DAA and Dublin Airport to a full transition towards usage of the low-carbon diesel alternative. 

"We're hoping to set the stage for other people to feel comfortable to make the transition as well. If we can prove that HVO is working for us, then we feel that lots of others on the campus will make the transition.

And that will improve emissions reductions across the whole of the airport."

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