Abidjan leads the way to net zero

The Ivory Coast’s major international airport is leading the race for West and Central Africa to reach the goal of carbon neutrality.

Félix Houphouët-Boigny airport

Leading the way: Félix Houphouët-Boigny airport. Image: AERIA

Félix Houphouët-Boigny airport, in the country’s capital city of Abidjan, is run by operator AERIA and over recent years it has been transformed into what it claims to be an ‘…attractive, safe, green and user-friendly hub’.

Ecological company, Soil.is by Egis, supports the airport operator in its decarbonisation strategy and it’s implementing nature-based solutions to sequester carbon in the soil on airport, so that it will be able to offset 1,500 tonnes of CO2 per year representing around 30 per cent of its residual emissions.

Following initial design studies, a consultation phase began with local residents, market gardeners, fishermen and animal breeders and work on this will be speeded-up in 2024, including building of a composting plant to treat bio-waste from the airport and effluent from nearby pig farms.  Some 28,000 trees and shrubs will be planted around the market gardens and five hectares of degraded mangrove swamp, bordering the Ebrié lagoon north of the airport, will be restored.

“We would like to assist by rolling-out our solution to other airports in Africa,” says El-Hadji Aly Ouattara, head of the AERIA’s compliance and risk management department. “We sometimes see important social issues at African airports and are keen to generate social impact and co-design solutions, along with stakeholders living and working around the airports.”

In 2023 AERIA received the ‘Airport Accreditation Customer Experience Certificate’ for its work on this project.

Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha is a francophone editor for African and Arabian Aerospace magazines.