Long Beach Airport has installed 15 electric chargers for ground support equipment, marking a major milestone in its efforts to reduce emissions.
Completion of the US$1.4m project means the Californian airport has now achieved 100% electrification for all 11 of its commercial gates.
“These new electric chargers are an important step toward a carbon-neutral airport,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Long Beach Airport is leading the way on sustainability by making important investments in reducing its carbon footprint.”
The state-of-the-art technology quickly charges airline-owned ground support equipment, commonly used for repositioning and servicing aircraft, loading and unloading cargo, and transporting passenger’s checked bags. With its airlines’ investment in zero emissions equipment, Long Beach expects to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by nearly 900kg (2,000 lb) per year by 2023.
The new equipment is part of the airport’s broader effort to reduce emissions for non-aircraft mobile sources. Long Beach is one of five commercial airports in the South Coast Air Basin that recently finalized a collaborative agreement with the South Coast Air Quality Management District. In addition to the greening of ground support equipment, the Air Quality Improvement Plan (AQIP) sets voluntary targets for renewable energy, sustainable design, clean construction practices, clean fleet goals for airport-owned vehicles and additional electric charging infrastructure for travelers.
“We are excited about the air-quality improvements that will result from these new charging stations,” said airport director Cynthia Guidry. “This is a team effort with our airline partners, who are making an investment in ground support equipment that is all-electric.”
In 2018 Long Beach City Council unanimously approved an item requesting that the City develop a plan to lead the nation on sustainability for airports and to work with airlines serving Long Beach and other partners to become an incubator of clean tech in aviation, with the goal of becoming a carbon-neutral facility. The comprehensive AQIP, which includes the new electric charging infrastructure, is a cornerstone of those efforts.