Collaborative environmental management (CEM) spreads its wings

20 September 2018

Traffic is growing once again – and environmental concerns grow in tandem. The more aircraft in their vicinity, the more people worry about noise, greenhouse gases and the quality of air.

Pressure on airport stakeholders increases – and one pragmatic way of relieving this pressure is to act collaboratively to minimise aviation’s impact on the local environment.

EUROCONTROL’s CEM approach helps airport stakeholders to agree on common solutions to the environmental challenges.

We have just released the latest update of the CEM Specification. It contains the CEM working arrangement, a pragmatic protocol that is adaptable to local needs.

The CEM working arrangement gives operational stakeholders a platform for discussion and supports them in:

  • identifying synergies
  • quantifying impacts
  • reaching compromises
  • minimising environmental impact at the airport and nearby
  • maximising their current operations’ potential
  • ensuring sustainable growth for the airport and its partners
  • complying with the relevant European regulations.

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Brussels Airport – a case in point

Brussels Airport, in common with many other major airports, has come under a good deal of pressure to resolve environmental issues over the years, noise in particular. On 18 September 2018, Belgocontrol – the Air Navigation Service Provider – the Brussels Airport Company and major aircraft operators – Brussels Airlines, TUI Fly and DHL Express, signed a cooperation agreement to undertake joint initiatives to further minimise aviation’s environmental impact at and around the airport.

Present at the ceremony was ACI Europe’s Director General, Olivier Jankovec. He observed: “We are delighted to see Brussels Airport join the increasing number of European airports adopting Collaborative Environmental Management. As detailed in our Recommended Practice on CEM, its value is that it takes into account the interdependencies between different aspects of airport operations, facilitating the creation of new efficiencies. In this way, Brussels Airport’s engagement in CEM is a perfect fit with their recent achievement of becoming a carbon neutral airport operator.”

EUROCONTROL’s Director European Civil-Military Aviation, Philippe Merlo, noted: “With CEM, we facilitate collaborative solutions for environmental issues, allowing us to mitigate our sector’s environmental impact and to contribute to high-performance, sustainable airports.”

Brussels Airport Company’s CEO, Arnaud Feist, agreed: “In its Strategic Vision 2040, Brussels Airport committed itself to developing the airport in a balanced way. Some measures can also be taken by individual companies. However, continuing to reduce the environmental impact of our operations requires the expertise, collaboration and commitment of multiple businesses.”

CEM has been implemented at Manchester Airport, London Gatwick, Madrid Barajas, Barcelona, several airports in France and three airports in Bulgaria: Sofia, Burgas and Varna. Another ten airports plan to come online in the near future.

Interested to learn more? Watch this video by Brussels Airport:

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