A number of politicians from the red/green alliance of the European Parliament visited Copenhagen Airport last Thursday to learn about CPH’s pioneering work to improve air quality at the airport.
Some 30 EU politicians, including Danish MEP Søren Søndergaard of the People’s Movement against the EU, learnt about CPH’s work to improve air quality for the employees who work on the airport aprons – right next to the aircraft. The visit at Copenhagen Airport was arranged in connection with a visit by a delegation from the red/green alliance, GUE/NGL, visiting Denmark on the occasion of the Danish EU Presidency.
Since 2007, Copenhagen Airport has teamed up with several of the companies operating at the airport and the labour union 3F to improve air quality – not least to reduce the volume of ultrafine particles discharged from both jet and diesel engines and which are therefore present in large quantities at all airports.
Air quality on the agenda
“We were one of the first airports to put air quality on the agenda, which makes our pioneering work relevant to the EU. For us, it is important to get the attention of the EU on the subject because international collaboration is a prerequisite for really changing the working environment on the aprons. We can take a number of initiatives locally, but the things that really have an effect require international-level collaboration,” said Henrik Peter Jørgensen, VP, Communications for CPH, who hosted the visit.
Copenhagen Airport’s efforts locally include a number of behavioural regulating initiatives and the introduction of more so-called “green equipment”, i.e. diesel and electric vehicles which meet EU standards for the area.
“It is only through international collaboration that we will be able to work on the development of auxiliary power units, or APUs, for the aircraft as well as efforts to reduce or eliminate sulphur in jet fuel. That’s why international attention is important,” said Henrik Peter Jørgensen.
A generally lower level
The study generally showed lower levels of air pollution at Copenhagen Airport than in downtown Copenhagen. However, in one category, ultrafine particles, pollution at Copenhagen Airport is two to three times higher than in downtown Copenhagen.