Portland-area airports lead in reducing carbon emissions

by appell 10/20/2015 10:40 AM

Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) once again recognized Portland International, Hillsboro and Troutdale Airports for leadership in managing carbon emissions. First achieving Airport Carbon Accreditation in 2014, Port of Portland’s airports are a part of an elite group of 10 certified facilities in North America who actively manage carbon and achieve measurable carbon reductions.

Globally, the Airport Carbon Accreditation program provides a framework for airports to reduce carbon emissions from their operations with the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral. The program champions the voluntary and collective efforts worldwide as the most credible and internationally-recognized structure for active carbon managementThe Port joins 125 other leading airports in 40 countries across the world in accreditation.

In 2009, the Port committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent below 1990 levels by 2020The Port’s systematic and aggressive environmental management system sets yearly targets to meet that goal. For example, in 2015 the Port added six more compressed natural gas shuttle buses to its fleet for a total of 30 buses that serve PDX.

Since 2011, the Port has reduced electricity consumption by over 27 million kilowatt hours per year and reduced carbon emissions by over 21 thousand metric tons. The cumulative effect of energy efficiency upgrades, cleaner fuels and engines, renewable energy credit purchases and advanced metering has allowed the Port to achieve a 65 percent reduction in carbon emissions, far exceeding the original 15 percent reduction goal.  

Port of Portland airports help lead the way for carbon accounting in North America

by timmel 3/2/2015 10:50 AM

Portland International Airport, Hillsboro Airport and Troutdale Airport are now certified through the Airports Carbon Accreditation program, making them the fourth, fifth and sixth airports in North America to achieve the status. 

The program was launched by the European region of Airports Council International in 2009. It provides a framework for airports to commit to reducing carbon emissions from their operations with the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral. Port of Portland, which owns and operates Portland, Hillsboro and Troutdale airports, signed on as an early adopter in 2014 for the program’s initial expansion to North America. The Port airports now join Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Victoria International Airport, and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in obtaining the certification.

The Port brings a wealth of experience in carbon accounting to this new process. As part of its commitment to promoting clean air and reducing impacts to global climate change, the Port signed on as a founding reporter to The Climate Registry in 2008. The Port has reported greenhouse gas emissions organization-wide in each subsequent year. In 2009, the Port committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 – a goal already achieved and surpassed. Through a suite of actions, the Port has reduced greenhouse gas emissions to about 65 percent below 1990 levels.

Substantial reductions have come through the Port’s purchase of renewable energy certificates for 100 percent of its electricity consumption. That covers power use at major facilities such as PDX, which serves nearly 44,000 air travelers on an average day.  

Simultaneously, the Port is systematically investing in energy efficiency and conservation projects. Since 2010, lighting upgrades and retrofits to heating, cooling and ventilation systems at Port facilities resulted in a combined savings of 13,325 metric tons of carbon and 15.7 million kilowatt hours annually. The Port’s fleet of shuttle buses, which deliver passengers and employees between the airport terminal and parking areas around-the-clock, run entirely on cleaner-burning compressed natural gas.

The Airports Carbon Accreditation program is specific to airports and champions the voluntary and collective efforts of airports worldwide to guide and support continual improvement. The program has attracted the support of key institutions in air transportation such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The Port now joins over 100 other leading airports across the world, in the most credible and internationally-recognized framework for active carbon management at airports.

When it comes to flying, go with the flow

by timmel 10/4/2012 8:49 AM

Environmental cues are a big part of encouraging behavior change. This is especially true when it comes to waste management. The flying public is an active participant in helping us effectively manage our waste streams at PDX. Most people have become accustomed to separating out recyclables and composting is becoming more commonplace, especially in Portland, but what about separating out liquids?

Imagine the last time you flew out of the airport – you were probably focusing on getting your documents in order, removing your shoes, taking your laptop out of your bag and then, “what am I going to do with this bottle of water I only drank half of?” In 2008, we introduced our first liquid collection stations at PDX to help remove liquids from our waste stream. The stations prevent liquid-filled containers from being sent to waste handlers, reduce costs in janitorial services and allow passengers to reuse their container post-security. Though the stations have diverted 100 tons of liquid from the landfill since their installation, we had a sense that they might be inconspicuous in this busy section of the airport.

With help from the Port of Portland Technical Assistance Project, we stood out at each security check-point for two hours and polled passengers coming through. Did they use the liquid collection station? Did they see it at all? What would make it more noticeable? What we discovered was that although the stations had collected 100 tons of liquid in the last four years, they actually had a fairly low rate of use and many people did not see them at all. Polled passengers recommended bigger stations, brighter colors and images that encourage people to stop and look. Earlier this summer, we rolled out redesigned stations, shown below. The redesign was based almost entirely on the public feedback we received. We are currently in the process of collecting six months of data to gauge the effectiveness of the new design. 

Also, be sure to check out the station featured in Airport Magazine.


An inside look at PDX's deicing treatment facility

by timmel 8/29/2012 3:29 PM

Are you curious about how Portland International Airport handles deicing operations in the winter? Have you driven by our new facility on NE 33rd Ave. and wondered what exactly happens there? As we head into the fall and winter months, we are opening our doors to the public and other interested parties to learn more about our new deicing treatment facility.

The Port of Portland designed the enhanced system in partnership with air carriers and regulatory agencies to better protect water quality in the Columbia Slough. The entire project is part of an agreement with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to ensure the Port meets environmental regulations for deicing operations while maintaining safe airport operations.

The enhanced system features on-site anaerobic treatment, one of only three facilities of its kind in the nation. Major construction of the facility was completed last fall and the Port went through a seven-month start-up testing process during winter and spring of 2011-12 to ensure the system operated as designed. That process was completed in April 2012 and the system is now fully operational.

For an inside look, join us for a guided facility tour on Tuesday, Sept. 18. Tours will occur every half hour between 5 and 7 p.m. at our facility on 10150 NE 33rd Dr. in Portland. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

PDX featured in GreenPacks Magazine

by linsta 8/7/2012 4:21 PM

We are pleased to find that PDX was featured in this month's GreenPacks Magazine, an environmentally-friendly news magazine read throughout the country. According to GreenPacks, PDX reflects the green nature of Portland, which is considered one of the greenest cities in the world.

Portland International Airport Goes Green

Portland International Airport, Oregon welcomes you with all its vibrant greenness. The airport boasts of a well-kept, maintained and manicured vertical garden which breathes in fresh air into the place. Portland is one of the greenest cities in the world and the airport authorities are quite successful in reflecting the green nature of the place in setting up the airport.

Well, going green is not just confined to these hanging plants in the multi-level parking lot or in setting up the garden. The airport terminal’s roadway is covered by a solar panel-clad glass canopy.

It currently produces about 12,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year. The airport also has set an example in the area of recycling as well. It runs a successful food waste diversion program that involves several tons of food waste as well as other usual airport wastes like napkins and food-soiled paper.

Portland International Airport has other achievements to add to its credit, apart from its environment consciousness. Conde Nast Traveler magazine named it the top domestic airport for three out of the last four years.

The airport offers free wireless Internet, a good number of shops selling local goods and even the TriMet light rail access to downtown Portland. So if you like shopping and roaming around in an international airport, this is place of must-visit.

Related link:


Vertical garden nestled in PDX's multi-level parking structure

PDX Deicing Treatment Facility Ranks Third in Regional Competition

by linsta 6/1/2012 11:51 AM

Port of Portland’s deicing treatment facility at Portland International Airport won third place among 99 other projects in the Daily Journal of Commerce’s annual TopProjects competition.

PDX’s new 12,000-square-foot, on-site deicing treatment facility was recognized for its excellence and ingenuity in Public Works - Infrastructure and Transportation enhancements to facilitate the capture of stormwater runoff from the airport’s ramps and runways. The enhanced airport deicing system collects and monitors stormwater runoff on the airport’s 2,000 acres, nearly doubling its capacity for housing and treatment. Its eco-friendly use of anaerobic fluidized bed biological reactors to help break down deicing material is also a noteworthy system function.

DJC’s TopProjects encourages organizations that create public works, transportation and renovation projects in Oregon and Washington to enter to win the most outstanding building project of the year, among other awards. Since its inception, the competition has become an industry tradition.

Features of the new facility include a new 3-million gallon concentrated runoff storage tank, two 6.5 million gallon dilute runoff storage tanks, three pump stations, and more than six miles of underground piping, with an outfall to the Columbia River. 

Related links:

DJCs 2012 TopProjects - Winners

PDX Deicing Treatment Facility - Contest Submission by JE Dunn Construction

Notes from the Airfield: The D-List

by Brian Burk 11/11/2011 11:03 AM

The runways and taxiways at Portland International Airport are lined with thousands of lights and signs. At night, they form a sea of reds, greens, blues, whites and ambers—each color with a specific meaning and purpose. Sometime after midnight on most Thursdays, staff from the Port’s operations and maintenance departments team up to repair airfield lighting on the “D-List,” or Deferred List, which is used to track lights and signs that are burned out or broken. As the name implies, the lights that make the D-List are not as critical as others, and so their repair can be deferred until the weekly repair session.

During the repairs, PDX operations staff coordinate our movement around the airfield with the FAA Control Tower, watch out for airplanes, and help the electricians locate the lights and signs to be fixed. We drive a Chevy Tahoe painted electric yellow. Meanwhile, the maintenance department typically sends out two electricians, who drive an ungainly panel van they’ve nicknamed “The Hog,” with one or two electricians stationed at the Central Utility Plant to control the various lighting circuits around the field.


Working after dark makes it easier to find the lights that need repair; working after midnight minimizes impacts to air traffic. Once a bad light has been found, its circuit is deactivated while it’s being worked on. Like a NASCAR pit crew, the electricians perform a well-rehearsed routine with agility and speed, their hands a blur of activity as they remove a faulty light fixture and pop in a new one. The circuit is re-energized, the light checks out, and it’s on to the next.







PDX South Runway Reopens

by wrayr 10/5/2011 1:21 PM

Portland International Airport’s 11,000-foot south runway is now open, following the complete reconstruction of the runway over the summer of 2011. Hawaiian Airlines was the first air carrier to depart off the new runway, fitting since they were the last departure off the south runway before it was closed last spring for construction.  


At a ceremony celebrating the runway’s reopening, Port executive director Bill Wyatt thanked the many people who played a part in the project, taking time to honor the Federal Aviation Administration, whose air traffic control tower employees carefully managed the air traffic to minimize neighborhood impacts.


Both Wyatt and Port aviation director Steve Schreiber reserved the bulk of their comments for thanking community members who live near and around the airport on both the Oregon and Washington sides of the river. Throughout the project, PDX neighbors have been patient with changing air traffic patterns, allowing the Port to complete the construction in a timely, resource-efficient way.


The project was the third and final phase of a three-year runway improvement program. The south runway phase involved completely removing the old asphalt runway and replacing it with a new, 19-inch deep concrete runway surface over a 4-inch deep asphalt base. In 2009, the Port rehabilitated the north runway, and in 2010, extended the north runway from the former 8,000 feet to 9,825 feet.  

A small group applauds as a Hawaiian Airlines jet, the first departure off the newly reopened south runway, takes off.

PDX's newest international flight, Asiana Cargo, taxis toward the end of the runway to prepare for take-off.

A FedEx cargo jet, a Boeing 777, heads to the west.

A sunnier view of the south runway, taken just a couple weeks before the October 5th reopening.

PDX South Runway Rehabilitation Project Enters Final Phase

by wrayr 8/25/2011 12:55 PM

Long and dry summer days mean construction work on Portland International Airport’s south runway continues apace. The reconstruction project is now in its final phase, bringing some temporary flight pattern changes through early October.


Increased flights over some airport neighborhoods are expected during this construction phase, similar to flight activities during the first phase of the construction this spring and early summer. Flight changes are occurring because many aircraft that would normally use the south runway will now temporarily use the north or crosswind runways. As we saw earlier this year, an increased use of the crosswind runway increases the number of flights over neighborhoods south of the airport. The north runway alone cannot accommodate all PDX flights during the south runway closure.


The work is the final stretch of a three-year runway rehabilitation program that will wrap up in October. The project is completely reconstructing the airport’s south runway, worn by years of aircraft use. In 2009, the Port rehabilitated the north runway, and in 2010, extended the north runway from the former 8,000 feet to 9,825 feet. The longer north runway is capable of accommodating the larger aircraft departures while the south runway is closed for reconstruction, keeping the airport fully operational.


Some photos of the south runway work in progress:



PDX South Runway Update

by wrayr 7/29/2011 6:01 PM

You may have noticed construction at Portland International Airport. The south runway is being completely reconstructed as part of the final stretch of a three-year runway rehabilitation program.


The project team has been hard at work since the construction season began last spring, and July 29, 2011, marks the partial reopening of the east half of the south runway and the closing of the crosswind (north-south) runway as construction continues. This will help reduce aircraft noise for neighbors who live north and south of the airport – these neighborhoods have experienced more flights due to increased use of the airport’s crosswind runway during the project.


In early September, the entire south runway will close once again to finish the reconstruction of the runway, and aircraft operations will resume on the crosswind runway. The entire project is scheduled to wrap up in early October with normal aircraft operations returning to PDX.


Want more info? Send your project questions and concerns to Art Spillman, 503.415.6133, or contact the Noise Hotline at 503.460.4100 or 800.938.6647.