June 3, 2024

ALIGHT: Progress in the Development of More Sustainable Airports

DLR presented initial research findings on the targeted use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) at the ALIGHT General Assembly in Vilnius
The EU-funded research project ALIGHT aims to establish Copenhagen Airport as a "European Smart Airport Lighthouse" and demonstrate sustainable solutions for airport operations. At the ALIGHT General Assembly at the end of May 2024 in Vilnius, DLR's institutes of Atmospheric Physics, Combustion Technology and Air Transport presented methodological steps and initial interim results on investigating the economic feasibility and climatological advantage of focused use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF). This research focused on concentrating SAF particularly on flights with high non-CO2 effects, as long as it is still scarce.
  • EU research project ALIGHT under Horizon 2020
  • Presentation of initial research results on the focused use of SAF on flights with high non-CO2 effects
  • 17 partners from 9 European countries involved

Collaboration for a More Sustainable Airport Operation

The aviation industry faces the challenge of reducing its CO2 emissions and other environmental impacts. To meet this challenge, the EU-funded ALIGHT project was launched. Under the leadership of Copenhagen Airport, acting as a "European Smart Airport Lighthouse," 17 partners from 9 European countries are working on innovative solutions for a more sustainable airport operation.

ALIGHT General Assembly of 2024

From 22 to 24 May 2024, the ALIGHT General Assembly took place at Vilnius Airport. This event brought the project partners together to report on the progress and new findings of the project. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) was also represented by several of its institutes. The focus of the DLR researchers was on examining the focused use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) to reduce climate-relevant non-CO2 effects. The use of SAF not only reduces aviation's CO2 emissions but can also significantly help mitigate other climate-relevant non-CO2 effects dependent on factors such as altitude, time of day, and weather conditions. The DLR institutes of Atmospheric Physics, Combustion Technology and Air Transport presented methodological steps and initial interim results. They concentrated on the question of the potential reduction in the climate effect SAF can bring when primarily used on flights with high non-CO2 effects, as long as it is still scarce.

ALIGHT Research Project

ALIGHT brings together airport operators, aviation companies, energy experts, and research institutions, including the DLR. Together, they are working towards making airport operations climate-neutral by 2050. This includes the airport infrastructure itself, aviation, and land transportation to and from the airport.

In addition to scientifically assessing the impact of SAF use in aviation, ALIGHT focuses on the development and implementation of two main solutions:

  • Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF): Through the introduction and intelligent use of SAF, CO2 emissions are intended to be reduced. This includes the procurement, integration, and use of SAF in regular flight operations as well as optimising supply chains to ensure continuous and cost-effective supply.
  • Smart Energy System: In addition to introducing SAF, ALIGHT also focuses on developing a smart energy system for airport operations. This system includes the use of renewable energies such as photovoltaic systems and heat pumps, as well as innovative solutions for passenger transportation and building infrastructure. The aim is to optimise energy consumption and minimise environmental impacts.

The DLR, under the direction of the Institute of Combustion Technology, is supporting the introduction of SAF primarily with the design of performance monitoring as well as extensive measurements and model simulations.

Contact

Dr. Janina Scheelhaase

Acting Head of Department
DLR - Institute of Air Transport
Air Transport Economics
Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne
Tel: +49 2203601 2187

Franziska Bietke

Communication Manager
DLR - Institute of Air Transport
Blohmstraße 20, 21079 Hamburg
Tel: +49 40 2489641-209