Anthony Foxx, transportation secretary for the US government, has awarded US$24.5m in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grants to 11 airports around the USA to reduce emissions and improve air quality. These measures will be executed 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 Foxx. “The US 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 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% of these total project costs.
Michael P Huerta, FAA administrator, said, “The FAA continues to award grants for projects with short-term and long-term emissions reductions benefits on or near airports. These airports must be responsible environmental stewards and good neighbors to their surrounding communities.”
The US$23.4m in VALE grants include US$2m to purchase and install 15 ground power units (GPUs) and pre-conditioned air (PCA) units for Chicago O’Hare International Airport; US$1.3m to purchase and install three GPUs and PCA units at Memphis International Airport; US$2.5m to purchase and install eight GPUs and eight PCAs for passenger gates at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport; US$1m to install 28 charging stations for electric ground service equipment in Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport; US$2.7m to purchase and install 13 GPUs and 11 PCAs at passenger gates at Port Columbus International Airport; US$2.6m to purchase seven clean fuel burning vehicles and a refueling station at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport; US$3.9m to purchase and install 12 GPUs and 22 stationary pole lights at Indianapolis International Airport; US$1.6m to purchase and install five PCAs and GPUs for passenger gates at William P Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas; and US$1.1m to install four GPUs and PCAs for passenger gates at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.