The Dutch aviation community is expanding its sustainability efforts on the ground as airport operator Royal Schiphol partnered with Neste distributor EG Group to introduce renewable diesel for ground support and equipment.
From January 2023 onwards, all diesel-powered ground handling vehicles and machinery at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands will be using Neste MY Renewable Diesel, also known as HVO100, which is produced from 100 percent renewable raw materials.
KLM Equipment Services (KES), fuel supplier for all vehicles and machinery at Schiphol, will be supplied by Neste’s distribution partner EG Group. KES has a fuel station at the airport as well as three fuel trucks operating seven days a week..
“At the moment, 40% of the motorized equipment at the airport runs on electricity. And that number will increase over the coming years. However, for a number of specialist heavy vehicles, it is a technical challenge to develop a battery with sufficient capacity that can also be charged quickly enough,” sai Paul Feldbrugge, responsible for the Zero Emission Programme at KES.
Denise Pronk, responsible for sustainability at Royal Schiphol Group, said this a significant step on the way towards a zero-emission ground operation in 2030.
“The vehicles for which there are currently no electric or hydrogen alternatives available can run on renewable diesel. Everyone on airside, where the loads are moved to or from the aircraft, is making use of it, including Aviapartner, dnata, Menzies, Swissport, KLM Ground Services and Viggo,” added Pronk.
There are around 1,900 ground handling vehicles with a diesel engine at Schiphol airport, varying from standard cars, vans, pushback tractors and trucks to more specialized ground support like conveyor belt loaders, pallet or container loaders, catering highlifts, aircraft fuel dispensers, passenger steps and ground power units.
As part of the group’s sustainability targets, the airport also plans to expand the number of electric vehicles and charging stations. Neste plans to scale its renewables production capacity to 5.5 million tonnes by year-end and further to 6.8 million tonnes by the end of 2026.