Decarbonization of Nice Côte d’Azur Airport Supported by the EU and the Banque des Territoires


Key Highlights:

  1. The European Commission and the Banque des Territoires (Caisse des Dépôts Group) are financing the project to electrify ground operations at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport with a total grant of 8.7 million euros.
  2. This project is part of the European Green Deal’s objective and aims to supply electricity to parked aircraft at all contact parking stands by 2025 and at all remote parking stands by 2030.
  3. The initiative is expected to result in an annual reduction of about 6,700 tons of CO2 emissions at the airport, thanks to the electrification of 69 aircraft stands and the installation of electric charging stations.

To achieve the ambitious goals set by the European Green Deal in terms of green mobility and environmental transition, the European Commission is mobilizing the AFIF and its implementation partners, among them Caisse des Dépôts in France, to fund projects such as the one at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport.

This project directly contributes to the implementation of the regulation on the deployment of an infrastructure for alternative fuels (AFIR), which stipulates that airports must provide electricity to parked aircraft at all contact parking stands (boarding gates) by 2025 and at all remote parking stands by 2030.

As part of its CAP 2030 climate strategy, the Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur (ACA) group, in which Caisse des Dépôts is a shareholder, aims not only to achieve “NetZero carbon emission without offsetting” 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). Therefore, reducing the environmental footprint of the entire air transport chain is fundamental. Through the electrification of ground operations, the project will save around 6,700 tons of CO2 emissions per year at Nice Côte d’Azur.

Specifically, the project aims for the electrification of remote aircraft stands by installing 50 Hz sockets on 69 aircraft stands. This will allow the powering of mobile equipment providing electricity and air conditioning to parked aircraft during ground operations. The project will actively contribute to the continued reduction of CO2 emissions from aircraft during layovers at the airport as it will significantly limit the use of ground support equipment running on fuel or the use of aircraft auxiliary power units (APUs) during ground operations. In addition, ACA will also set up electric charging stations to support the electrification of the vehicle fleet and ground equipment. Both aspects of the project will be gradually deployed until 2026.

To carry out this decarbonization project, Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport will benefit from 4.1 million euros in European grants and financial support from the Banque des Territoires, in the form of quasi-equity financing of 4.6 million euros.

This electrification project for ground services at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is emblematic of the essential role airports play in the decarbonization of the aviation sector. Thanks to the grant from the European Union and the financing from the Banque des Territoires, this virtuous project, carried by local actors, will very concretely contribute to the achievement of the goals of the European Green Deal. The European Union will continue to support these sustainable initiatives, in partnership with financial institutions, and will launch a new AFIF project call in the first quarter of 2024, endowed with nearly one billion euros,” highlighted Richard Ferrer, Head of the Alternative Fuels sector at the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Agency (CINEA).

“Being the laboratory for the airport of tomorrow means acting concretely to massively reduce CO2 emissions from airport operations. After being the first airport in France to obtain the Airport Carbon Accreditation level 4+ Transition, Nice Côte d’Azur Airport was a pioneer in the electrification of stopover operations for both general and commercial aviation. his new step fully fits into our strategy of decarbonizing our operations as well as those of our partners, airlines, and ground handlers. We therefore warmly thank the European Commission and Caisse des Dépôts for their support of this ambition,” stated Franck Goldnadel, Chairman of the Executive Board of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur.

This commitment fully aligns with the Banque des Territoires’ strategy to support environmentally friendly mobility and thus more sustainable territories. “By participating in the financing of this airport electrification operation, the Banque des Territoires confirms its willingness to support the decarbonization of transportation and more broadly its commitment to ecological and energy transformation, one of the major challenges for Caisse des Dépôts,” said Alexis Rouque, Regional Director of the Banque des Territoires in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

Launched in November 2021 as part of the Connecting Europe Facility, the call for projects aims to accelerate the ecological transition in transport by relying on the expertise of long-term investors who financially contribute to environmentally friendly infrastructure projects. The complementarity of European grants and financing proves very effective in bringing forth economically and technically viable clean transport solutions.

The European Commission can rely on Caisse des Dépôts, its implementation partner in France for AFIF, thus benefiting from the territorial presence of the Banque des Territoires, which brings financing and expertise to projects.

Ecological Transition Nice Côte d’Azur

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