As part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission called for projects to drastically reduce the environmental impact of the transport sector. Brussels Airport (together with fellow airports Athens Airport, Budapest Airport and Toulouse Airport) took the initiative, together with 21 partners, including Air Cargo Belgium, to submit the ambitious STARGATE programme. This programme includes innovations and initiatives for an accelerated transition to greener aviation. Brussels Airport's STARGATE project was selected and is granted 24.8 million euros of subsidies to implement these projects in the coming five years.

STARGATE includes about thirty small and large projects, focused on three main areas:

  • a further decarbonisation of the airport operations,
  • improving the local environmental quality and
  • improving the modal split.

Within STARGATE, ACB’s role is to further enhance the digitization and sustainability at BRUcargo, based on the Physical Internet roadmap created in 2021. Second, Air Cargo Belgium will heavily focus on broadening its scope by focusing on internationalisation and set up a close collaboration with the cargo division of amongst others Athens Airport and Budapest Airport.

To structure its work within the project, Air Cargo Belgium defined tendifferent domains it will focus on the next years. Whereas for some domainsAir Cargo Belgium is not in the lead, the main focus is on:

  • Contributing to the development of a Digital Twin.
  • Increasing the number of actors being linked to BRUcloud.
  • Developing relevant dashboards on performance/CO2 emissions/etc.
  • Deploying a fully digital landside management at BRUcargo, supported by various applications available on BRUcloud.
  • Collaborating with relevant public agencies (e.g. customs, FASFC & FAMHP) to stimulate further (digital) collaboration.
  • Creating more transparency through the supply chain by increasing the data capturing possibilities of BRUcloud.
  • Connecting and integrating different data-sources to guarantee smooth data-exchange.
  • Analysing the potential adaptation of new technologies and applications based on IoT and AI.
  • Looking for international collaboration with other communities to guarantee efficient international operations.

Air Cargo Belgium aims within STARGATE to enhance digitisation in the air cargo industry to make operations more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. The European Commission recognised the important role for digitisation and automation in greening the freight transport industry. Not only could paperless processes

be avoided and so data duplication, also reducing waiting times, optimizing capacity, better allocation of resources, etc. will become realistic. This will help to reduce – amongst others – CO2 emissions, an important milestone to keep pace with the ambitions of the European Commission to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050.