AOT charts out its flight path to net-zero carbon emissions


The Airports of Thailand (AOT) has outlined its strategy to achieve carbon neutrality goal by 2030 and net zero carbon emission by 2032.

In the first four years, the AOT, which runs the country's six major airports, aims to cut 50% of its annual carbon emission of 300,000 tons.

"The AOT has to take a role in reducing carbon emissions in the Thai aviation industry," said Kirati Kitmanawat, AOT’s CEO.

Under the strategy, the AOT plans to substitute internal combustion engine vehicles with electric vehicles. Of the 3,710 rented cars, the agency plans to make 1,180 cars electric vehicles in 2024, 760 vehicles in 2025, 1,170 in 2026 and 600 in 2027.

The AOT also plans to substitute more than 4,000 taxis and limousines, as well as 3,400 vehicles for supporting airport operations, with EVs.

This would help reduce fuel consumption by up to 10 million litres per year or 28,360 tons of carbon reduction. It would also help mitigate air pollution at airports, he said.

Meanwhile, the AOT aims to increase the consumption of renewable energy at all airports under its management.

The AOT aims to set up solar cells on buildings and runways to offset 20% of overall electricity consumption in the first two years, which would increase to 50% within four years and 100% within 10 years, Kirati said.

The AOT is also studying prospects for producing electricity from hydrogen at night.

“Electricity costs at airports amount to 1 billion baht per month," Kirati said. "Once solar cell installation is completed, it would help reduce electricity cost to 700 million baht per month."

In addition, the AOT is encouraging airlines to use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to meet international regulations on the aviation industry's carbon reduction. The agency is also working on the production and procurement of SAF in Thailand.

Currently, Thailand has to purchase SAF from Singapore at a price eight times higher than ordinary aviation fuel.

"If Thailand can produce SAF, it would help boost the Thai aviation industry's competitiveness and generate revenue for the country," Kirati added.

The AOT manages six airports nationwide, namely Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Mae Fah Luang, Phuket and Hat Yai, which account for 95% of domestic and international flights.

To increase competitiveness in the global market, three more airports — Krabi, Buri Ram and Udon Thani — will be managed by the AOT in the future.