Ecology benefiting the economy

Vue aéroport Nice

For the Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur airport group, 2019 was certainly an excellent year. This is clear from the figures. Whether they concern our core business of airport management or our other activities, from engineering to FBO, the indicators are positive and demonstrate the vitality and soundness of our company. However, our performance in 2019 should not be measured in financial terms alone. We must also look at the formidable potential and the prospects that our Group has developed thanks to its investments in improving service quality, and especially thanks to our bold and decisive decisions concerning the environment. As you may already know, the carbon footprint of our airports will be zero by 2030 at the latest, without carbon offsetting.

Economic dynamism and environmental responsibility were the two pillars underpinning our activities in 2019. More than ever, they are inseparable, because if we want to benefit from our region’s appeal, it is essential to protect the people and assets that make it so attractive: its pleasant lifestyle and its population. This balance is essential, and whatever happens in the coming years, rest assured that we will do all we can to maintain it.

A gateway to the world 

From an economic perspective, our activities in 2019 were more than satisfactory. Nice Côte d’Azur, Cannes Mandelieu and Golfe de Saint- Tropez, the three airports on the French Riviera managed by the Group, were major contributors to the region’s prosperity. The first excelled by offering an unprecedented summer network, with over 120 destinations around the world. These numerous direct routes encouraged exchanges between our region, major French cities and the heavyweights of the world economy, not only in countries of the European Union, but also Russia, North America, the Middle East and, for the first time in history, China. We could not have been happier, not to mention prouder, when in early August we launched the longest connection ever offered from the French Riviera: a direct Nice- Beijing flight. Thanks to an unprecedented flight schedule, over two million French Riviera residents were able to discover the world, grow their businesses, visit their families, or study abroad. Meanwhile, five million passengers from around the world fuelled the local 

economy, helping to keep it in good health. This remarkable popularity is testament to the appeal of the French Riviera. We are lucky to enjoy such
prestige, but it comes with responsibilities!

A constant drive for improvement

Because our airports are the first and last points of contact between tourists and our region, the passenger experience and quality of service they provide must live up to the French Riviera’s reputation for excellence. This obliges us to constantly improve our infrastructure, continuously develop new skills and regularly introduce new technologies. This is what we successfully achieved in 2019. How? By redesigning Zone A in Terminal 1 of Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, to offer passengers optimal conditions when boarding and on arrival. By facilitating access to the airport via the tram line, offering a smoother-running Kiss & Fly system at Terminal 2 and providing a competitive valet parking service. By joining Collaborative Decision Making, the new system for managing the European airspace, which helps to keep flights on time through enhanced performance. By making passenger flows smoother thanks to 3D sensors, which allow us to anticipate congestion on our terminals. By keeping our commercial offer attractive, so that shopping at the airport is a pleasure, or even an experience. And these are just a few examples…

The future...now

As well as bringing many innovations for our Group, 2019 was also a year full of promise. The promise of ever more efficient organisation thanks to the AirPort Operations Centre, the future nerve centre of Nice Côte d’Azur Airport. The promise of a better passenger experience and quality of service, thanks to the planned expansion of Terminal 2 at Nice Airport. And above all, the promise of maximum environmental responsibility. Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030: this was the challenge set in the second semester of 2019. At Golfe de Saint-Tropez Airport, this has already been achieved, thanks to the planting of a forest of 1100 trees near to the terminal, making it the first airport in France and the fourth in Europe with a zero-carbon footprint. Its neighbours in Nice and Cannes have already started the work and studies required to reach the same objective. Will the COVID-19 health crisis slow this momentum? Absolutely not! We will do whatever it takes to continue our “NetZero Carbon 2030” programme, so that we have the best possible arrangements in place when air traffic recovers. More than ever, the circumstances demand it.

In fact, although the partial closure of our runways for two months and the current slowdown in economic activity have demonstrated the importance of air transport for our region, this unprecedented situation has also strengthened the environmental and virtuous aspirations of its population. Thus, in the coming months and years, building on the progress and projects of 2019, Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur intends to rise to a double challenge: to help revive the French Riviera and protect its jobs, while also looking after its well-being and its environment.