VALE grant keeps passengers moving with lower emissions

by Lisa Timmerman 7/31/2014 2:09 PM

Portland International Airport's shuttle bus fleet will continue to be entirely powered by cleaner burning compressed natural gas thanks to a Voluntary Airport Low Emission Program grant awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration. The grant money will be used to purchase six CNG buses that transport airport passengers and employees from the terminal to parking and rental car facilities.

The grant was announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx yesterday. “[The] announcement supports President Obama’s efforts to reduce carbon pollution and increase the deployment of cleaner, alternative fuel technologies,” said Secretary Foxx. “It complements broad efforts across the FAA to expand the development and use of new technologies for aviation fuels that will benefit human health and the environment.”

 

The FAA began the VALE program in 2005 to help airport sponsors meet their air quality responsibilities under the Clean Air Act. The program also supports the objectives of the President's Climate Action Plan. “We applaud Portland International Airport’s efforts to become a better steward of the environment,” FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta said. “This project will allow the airport to realize immediate emission-reduction benefits for the airport and surrounding communities.”

  

For more information, visit the VALE website.

 

 

Green initiatives at airports and seaports

by Lisa Timmerman 7/3/2014 3:45 PM

Interested in learning about the latest and greatest developments in green initiatives at airports and seaports? The information is at your fingertips thanks to two research papers that highlight green initiatives across the United States and the world. The intent of both of these papers is to help provide solutions to common problems for airport and seaport terminal operators. The papers provide the additional benefit of offering the general public a glimpse into the challenges and best environmental practices in place at these facilities.  

Outcomes of Green Initiatives: Large Airport Experience, A Synthesis of Airport Practice was published earlier this year by the Airport Cooperative Research Program, with sponsorship from the Federal Aviation Administration. The paper is based on a literature review as well as surveys of 15 mostly large hub airports across the United States, including Portland International Airport. It discusses overall trends as well as unique case examples from many of the airports surveyed.

Environmental Initiatives at Seaports Worldwide: A Snapshot of Best Practices was first released in 2010 and later updated in August 2013. The Port of Portland and the International Institute for Sustainable Seaports teamed up to develop the white paper describing a broad array of environmental initiatives at seaports across the globe. It describes the geographic, community, financial and regulatory drivers that impact port decision-making related to sustainability and environmental management initiatives. It is based on interviews with port authorities, online research, literature reviews and other publicly available reports.

       

 

NextGen helps PDX flights lower emissions, minimize noise

by Lisa Timmerman 12/26/2012 3:54 PM

If you flew into PDX this holiday season, it's possible you may have been on a flight starting to use new technology in their final approach to the runway. The Federal Aviation Administration published flight approach procedures for its Next Generation Air Transportation System, also known as NextGen, in September. The satellite-based aircraft navigation system is gradually replacing the nation's legacy ground-based equipment network and is designed to help pilots fly existing routes more precisely. 

The new system brings multiple benefits. NextGen technology gives pilots the ability to fly an optimized profile descent, also known as a continuous descent approach. The approach enables the aircraft to maintain a continuous descent from the point of initial descent to the runway using a lower power setting and higher altitude for less noise and less fuel, thus reducing air emissions.

“From helping us minimize aircraft noise, to reducing aircraft carbon emissions, NextGen has numerous benefits for PDX and our community,” said Jason Schwartz, Port of Portland noise management manager. “We have many to thank for helping bring NextGen to PDX, including the FAA, the PDX Citizen Noise Advisory Committee, Alaska Air Group, Southwest Airlines and SkyWest Airlines.”

Procedures at PDX for using satellite-based technology for departures have been in place since 2008 and have proven successful in helping aircraft follow noise abatement routes. Most commercial aircraft using PDX are equipped with the advance avionics in the cockpit needed for NextGen navigation. Early estimates show that 10-20 percent of flights will use new NextGen arrivals procedures initially, and others will phase in over time. Next spring, the FAA plans to release arrival procedures, which will guide aircraft that are further out from the airport. 

For more information about how innovation and technology are yielding environmental and community benefits in the aviation industry, check out FAA Administrator J. Randolph Babbitt's discussion on the topic.