Shaikh Ahmad inspects a hybrid vehicle at an event at Dubai International’s Terminal 3. Image Credit: Courtesy: Dubai Airports

Dubai: One of the largest ground fleets of vehicles in Dubai is going green.

Dubai Airports, operator of the world’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic Dubai International (DXB), said on Tuesday that it has joined Dubai’s aviation community in signing a pledge to purchase only green vehicles going forward.

The pledge was signed by Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman and CEO of Emirates airline and Group, and representatives from Emirates airline, flydubai, dnata, Dubai Police, Dubai Customs and Dubai’s General Directory of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA).

“This commitment is fully aligned with the Dubai government’s aggressive goals to reduce energy consumption by 30 per cent by 2030 as well as our sector’s strategy to limit our environmental footprint while continuing our significant contributions to Dubai’s employment and GDP,” said Shaikh Ahmad in a statement.

Dubai’s airport is home to a fleet of over 6,345 ground service vehicles comprising various types, ranging from water tankers and tow tractors to fork lifts operated by a number of companies that operate on the airfield including airlines, control authorities and ground-handling services provider dnata.

“Our goal is to get greener faster,” said Michael Ibbitson, executive vice-president, Infrastructure and Technology, adding that a portion of the airport vehicles will be replaced.

“Together we have pledged to buy green going forward with a goal to replace the entire fleet with environmentally friendly options by the end of the next decade. Dubai Airports’ objective is to convert our portion of the total airport fleet — 352 vehicles — to green options by 2023,” he said. “As a provider of infrastructure, Dubai Airports will also do its part by providing charging and fuelling stations to power the fleets operated by our stakeholders.”

The overall Dubai target for the share of hybrid and electric vehicles is at least a two per cent penetration rate by 2020 and 10 per cent by 2030 of total vehicles registered in Dubai.

This target, which also applies to the aviation sector, is in line with international benchmarks and would result in estimated fuel savings of about three billion litres or 5 per cent of total consumption by 2030.