The first public, airport-based natural gas fuel station in Florida has officially opened at Tampa International Airport.
“Today the airport takes another step toward a brighter future by moving to a fuel that is cleaner and more cost effective,” said CEO Joe Lopano.
“My team has developed a strategy to begin converting our fleet of vehicles immediately, a move that not only will save us money, but enables us to set an example for others to follow and benefit all of Tampa Bay.”
Of the airport authority's 115-vehicle fleet, 16% are currently operating on CNG. Within five years, that is projected to increase to 53%, and 72% within 10 years.
Sixteen new Economy Parking Garage shuttle buses are already scheduled for arrival. Other vehicles, such as a new tour bus, six new employee shuttle buses and six other vehicles in the airport authority fleet are on order. One existing vehicle has been identified for future conversion.
The estimated cost savings on fuel is over $1 million dollars in the first five years.
"The shift to using natural gas shows how Tampa International Airport is a modern, cutting-edge airport. That is why it is not only beloved by travelers, but also one of Tampa's best assets in creating economic opportunity in our community," said City of Tampa Mayor, Bob Buckhorn.
Clean Energy, the largest provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America and a global leader in the expanding natural gas vehicle market, constructed the new station.
Through an agreement with the airport authority, the company will operate and maintain a 'turnkey' facility at Tampa International Airport for a term of 20 years.
“Airports and allied ground transportation services have become magnets for natural gas vehicle usage, in response to the need to curtail harmful emissions, decrease fuel costs, and reduce dependence on imported oil," said Marc Klein, vice president, Clean Energy.
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring the benefits of clean natural gas fuel to Tampa International Airport and neighboring communities."
TECO Peoples Gas will supply fuel for the station.