U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced the recent award of $33.7 million in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grants to nine 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 grants represent the U.S. Department of Transportation’s continued commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions and work with airports and communities to provide healthier air quality for all Americans,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
The VALE program supports the objectives of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. That plan builds on efforts to address climate change and support clean energy innovation. The Climate Action Plan also builds upon historic investments in advanced vehicle and fuel technologies, public transit, and rail under the Recovery Act. In addition, the investments include ambitious new fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, which the Administration has worked to develop since 2009 in collaboration with industry.
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 of infrastructure needed to facilitate the delivery of the fuel and services for these vehicles.
“We applaud these airports for working to reduce ground emissions and being responsible stewards of the environment and good neighbors to surrounding communities,” said FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta.
The FAA is awarding $31.1 million in VALE grants to following airports:
- Chicago O’Hare International, $3.6 million – to purchase and install 124 electrical charging stations. These stations will allow airlines to use electric-powered ground service equipment, including belt loaders, aircraft tractors, and baggage and cargo tugs. Many of these charging stations are multi-port stations that can potentially support up to a total of 326 pieces of electrical equipment.
- Memphis International, $2.4 million – to purchase and install 11 ground-power units (GPUs) and 11 preconditioned air units (PCAs) for passenger gates.
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston, $1.5 million– to purchase and install five PCAs for passenger gates and 68 electrical ground support recharging ports.
- Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, $3.1 million– to purchase and install 23 GPUs, five PCAs and two air chilling units for passenger gates.
- Los Angeles International Airport, $4 million– to purchase and install 9 GPUs and associated electrical infrastructure for remote parking sites.
- Portland International Airport, $5.7 million – to purchase and install 27 PCAs at passenger gates.
- San Francisco International Airport, $10.6 million– to purchase and install 5 GPUs and five PCAs and associated infrastructure at five remote maintenance stations.
- Boise Airport, $200,000 –to purchase and install a solar-powered system to heat water for the terminal.
The remaining funds of $2.6 million were awarded in a ZEV grant to:
- Indianapolis International – to purchase six electric shuttle buses for passenger service from terminal to terminal and three charging stations and required infrastructure needed to charge the vehicles.
Through VALE, airports are reducing ozone emissions by approximately 840 tons per year, which is equivalent to removing about 46,912 cars and trucks from the road annually. In fiscal year 2015, the FAA issued $23.4 million in VALE grants for 13 projects at 12 airports. Since 2005, the FAA has funded 92 VALE projects at 46 airports, which represents a total investment of $251 million in clean airport technology. That amount includes $196 million in federal grants and $55 million in local airport matching funds. This marks the second year the FAA has awarded ZEV grants that provide funding to replace hydrocarbon burning buses with electric buses.
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.
For more information about the programs, visit www.faa.gov/airports/environmental/vale and www.faa.gov/airports/environmental/zero_emissions_vehicles.