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NEWS Last modified on October 27, 2014

'Green' Asia-Pacific airports honoured as six US gateways receive FAA funds for enviro projects

Aviation’s Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme continues to gather pace in the Asia-Pacific region with Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and Chiang Mai in Thailand among the latest gateways to be recognised for their efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.

Chiang Mai was in fact one of four Thai airports to be presented with Airport Carbon Accreditation certificates at ACI Asia-Pacific’s Small and Emerging Airports Seminar in Bali last week.

The other three accredited Thai airports are Bangkok’s Don Mueang; Hat Yai; and Mae Fah Luang Chiang Rai, all of which have been accredited at the scheme’s ‘Mapping’ Level 1.

“I wish to congratulate the airport operators of the five newly accredited airports, PT (Persero) Angkasa Pura II and Airports of Thailand for their efforts in carbon management and commitment to operating their airports in an environmental sustainable manner,” enthused ACI Asia-Pacific’s regional director, Patti Chau.

“The programme has really engaged and motivated airports across our region, and in just three years 21 have become accredited.

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“As well as welcoming new airports into the programme, we look forward to the witnessing accredited airports move up through the levels of the programme. Together we will create a low carbon airport industry.”

Airport Carbon Accreditation was first launched by ACI Europe in 2009 and later extended to Asia-Pacific, Africa and just last month, North America.

The progrmme is institutionally-endorsed by ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference) and EUROCONTROL and is overseen by an independent Advisory Board including representatives of the European Commission, ECAC, EUROCONTROL, ICAO, UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) and Manchester Metropolitan University.

The programme now comprises 109 airports currently certified at one of the four available levels of certification (‘Mapping’, ‘Reduction’, ‘Optimisation’ and ‘Neutrality’), including some of the best-known and renowned airport brands in the world.

• Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, has awarded $10.2 million in FAA grants to six US airports to reduce emissions and improve air quality through the FAA’s Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) programme.

VALE is designed to reduce all sources of airport ground emissions in areas of marginal air quality.

Established in 2005, the programme is designed to help airport sponsors meet their air quality responsibilities under the Clean Air Act.

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Through VALE, airport sponsors can use Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds and passenger facility charges to help acquire low-emission vehicles, refueling and recharging stations, gate electrification, and other airport-related air quality improvements.

The six airports to receive the latest VALE grants are:

Albuquerque International Sunport – $431,479  to help it upgrade the infrastructure to low-emission technology by replacing four boilers in the airport’s central utility plant.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International – $102,456 to enable the airport to purchase two alternative-fuel garbage trucks and convert two passenger vans to cleaner burning fuel instead of diesel.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport – $2 million to allow it to install an underground fuel-hydrant system, eliminating the need for diesel-powered fuel trucks. The system will provide fuel for 20 gates in Concourse F.

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport – $2 million to help it install 12 electric gates at Terminal B and install and connect seven pre-conditioned air units for parked aircraft.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport – $2 million to allow the airport to install 43 charging units in Terminals A and B to support electric ground support equipment (GSE) such as luggage loaders and aircraft tugs.

Yeager Airport in West Virginia – $3,678,168 to fund both gate power units and pre-conditioned air units at seven of the airport’s gates.

“These grants will allow the airports to take advantage of the remainder of the construction season by beginning or completing the construction process,” noted FAA Administrator, Michael Huerta.

“The airports can continue to be good neighbours to residents in the surrounding communities.”

According to the FAA, through VALE, US airports are reducing ozone emissions by approximately 563 tons per year, which is equivalent to removing more than 31,000 cars and trucks off the road annually. 

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