WASHINGTON, DC – US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recently awarded $24.5 million in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grants to 11 airports around the country to reduce emissions and improve air quality through the FAA’s Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) and Zero Emissions Airport Vehicle (ZEV) programs.
“These programs are crucial to our efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions and make our skies and roads more environmentally-friendly,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to working with airports and communities across the nation to improve air quality and protect the health of future generations of Americans.”
VALE is designed to reduce all sources of airport ground emissions in areas that do not meet air quality standards. The FAA established the program in 2005 to help airport sponsors meet their air quality responsibilities under the Clean Air Act. Through these programs, airport sponsors can use Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds and Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) to help acquire refueling and recharging stations, electrified gates, low-emission vehicles, and other airport-related air quality improvements.
The ZEV program, created through the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, allows airport sponsors to use AIP funds to purchase vehicles that produce zero exhaust emissions. AIP funds can cover up to 50 percent of these total project costs. Airport sponsors also can use federal funds to pay for any needed infrastructure construction or modification needed to facilitate the delivery of the fuel and services for these vehicles.
“The FAA continues to award grants for projects with short-term and long-term emissions reductions benefits on or near airports,” said FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta. “These airports must be responsible environmental stewards and good neighbors to their surrounding communities.”
The $23.4 million in VALE grants include:
• Chicago O’Hare International, $2 million – to purchase and install 15 ground power units (GPUs) and pre-conditioned air (PCA) units, which will allow aircraft arriving at overnight parking positions to shut off their auxiliary power units and connect to a clean central heating and cooling system. The project will save fuel and reduce aircraft emissions on the ground.
• Memphis International, $1.3 million – to purchase and install three GPUs and PCA units.
• Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall, $2.5 million – to purchase and install eight GPUs and eight PCAs for passenger gates.
• Phoenix Sky Harbor International, $1 million – to install 28 charging stations in Terminal four for electric ground service equipment.
• Port Columbus International, OH, $2.7 million – to purchase and install 13 GPUs and 11 PCAs at passenger gates.
• Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International, AL $2.6 million – to purchase seven clean fuel burning vehicles and a refueling station.
• Indianapolis International, $3.9 million – to purchase and install 12 GPUs and 22 stationary pole lights. The stationary pole lights will replace diesel-powered lights and will help illuminate ramp operations on the cargo apron to improve safety and reduce fossil fuel emissions.
• William P. Hobby, Houston, TX, $1.6 million – to purchase and install five PCAs and GPUs for passenger gates.
• Cleveland Hopkins International, $1.1 million – to install four GPUs and PCAs for passenger gates.
The $955,088 in ZEV grants include:
• Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, $926,789 – to purchase one electric shuttle bus for passenger service from terminal to terminal and fund infrastructure needed to charge the vehicle, including one wireless inductive charging pad and one long-term charging area.
• Lambert-St. Louis International, $28,299 – to fund four electric utility carts for on-airport emergency services, and other uses.
Through VALE, airports are reducing ozone emissions by approximately 801 tons per year, which is equivalent to removing more than 44,735 cars and trucks from the road annually. In fiscal year 2014, the FAA issued $16.6 million in VALE grants for nine projects at nine airports. Since 2005, the FAA has funded 87 VALE projects at 44 airports, which represents a total investment of $215 million in clean airport technology. That amount includes $173 million in federal grants and $42 million in local airport matching funds.
The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) provides more than $3 billion in annual funding for projects that are vital to maintaining the safety, security, capacity, efficiency, and environmental stewardship of the nation’s airports. More than 3,300 airports are eligible for AIP grants benefiting commercial passengers, cargo operations, and general aviation activities throughout the nation.
The VALE program supports the objectives of the President’s Climate Action Plan. The Plan builds on efforts to address climate change and support clean energy innovation. The Plan also includes historic investments in advanced vehicle and fuel technologies, public transit, and rail under the Recovery Act. The investments also include ambitious new fuel economy standards put into place for cars and trucks, which the Administration has worked to develop since 2009 in collaboration with industry.