01 JULY 2019
On March 28th, Athens International Airport turned …18, and celebrated with a Facebook contest for its friends, and the … plug-in began!
On July 1st, during a special event at the airport, Athens International Airport (AIA) gave an electric car to the lucky winner of its contest, which also provided the opportunity for its Environmental Services Department and its Manager, Michael O’Connor, to present the airport’s “Green Milestones” since 1996 (year of AIA’s establishment) and from 2001 (beginning of airport operations) till today.
Special emphasis was placed on the burning issue of climate change, with AIA having significantly reduced its carbon footprint; besides their role as engines of economic development, airports are tangibly proving their environmental commitment, and AIA is a very active member of the family of European airports taking action to reduce their environmental footprints. 
Athens International Airport’s actions and programmes reflect the multiple activities developed at big European airports. Therefore, the daily agenda of AIA’s Environmental Services includes areas such as air quality monitoring, water quality and management, the noise context, waste management, recycling, energy saving programmes, protection of biodiversity, cultural heritage preservation, environmental education and training activities, and a set of actions and programmes for the local communities.
The “Green Milestones” of the Athens Airport since 1996 when the airport company (AIA) was established, and from 2001 when the airport commenced operations to date, is marked with significant “green” moments and a variety of … “destinations”. 
The most important milestones of this journey, follow: 
  • Environmental & Energy Management Systems: AIA’s Environmental Management System is certified according to EN ISO 14001 since 2000, and Athens airport is the first Greek airport to have an Energy Management System certified according to EN ISO 50001 since 2017.
  • Air quality monitoring at and around the airport since 1998: Reduction of carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from aircraft by 35% since 2002.
  • Noise and air pollution monitoring: Installation and operation of stations in the neighboring municipalities and implementation of measures for noise and pollution reduction, not only from aircraft but also from vehicles and other sources.
  • Water Management: Construction and operation of a Sewage Treatment Plant and an Industrial Wastewater Treatment Facility
  • Measures to reduce water consumption: a reduction of 40% per passenger since 2002.
  • Waste management and recycling: from 3% in 2001, recycling was increased to 83% in 2018.
  • Cultural heritage preservation: 300,000 visitors to the airport’s permanent exhibition of archaeological findings (Airport Museum).
  • ... and Biodiversity protection: Monitoring and protection of ecosystems in the Mesogaia area – 215 bird species observed at the airport.
  • Community Engagement: Environmental Awareness presentations given by AIA to 700 students from local high schools / 2,300 visitors in 2018 to the Vravrona Wetland, which was “adopted” and protected by the Athens airport since 2008. 
  • Athens International Airport participates in the voluntary Airport Carbon Accreditation programme since 2009, and AIA is certified at its highest level (3+): Neutrality since 2017.
  • Reduction of its carbon footprint by 50%
  • AIA’s first Climate Change Adaptation Study to examine how future changes in the local climate will affect airport operations.
  • The Airport’s Photovoltaic Park production covers 25% of AIA’s electricity needs (13% of the overall airport needs)