Need to plug in your electric vehicle? PDX has you covered

by appell 2/26/2016 9:15 AM

Portland International Airport offers travelers and employees 48 electric vehicle charging stations—the largest installation of commercial stations at an airport in the United States.

The PDX economy parking lot has 24 L1 PowerPost™ EV charging stations, available in two separate areas of 12 stations each. An additional 18 level 1 stations are located in the PDX employee lot on Northeast Alderwood Road.

In the short-term garage on the fourth floor, there are six 240 volt level 2 charging ports, as three stations offer two connections each. PDX also provides level 2 charging to valet customers, giving a faster boost for quick trips.

The level 1 stations have the typical 120 voltage found in homes. Level 1 outlets enable EV drivers to recover about five miles of range for every hour they are charging. So, a typical commute of 20 miles is recovered in about 4 hours. The lower voltage allowed PDX to install more charging stations without costly electrical supply upgrades often needed by more powerful level 2 chargers.

“We are excited to support our travelers and employees with these new EV charging stations,” said Vince Granato, Port of Portland chief operations officer. “The installation of EV charging stations is one of our many environmental initiatives, which are central to how we do business and serve as good community stewards.”

The Port is monitoring the care and use of the EV charging stations, and intends to expand the program in the future in response to demand.

Muddy your rental? Learn what happens when you return it to PDX

by appell 1/22/2016 10:58 AM

It’s common to return a dirty rental car to PDX after an Oregon travel adventure. Companies must clean them quickly to make sure they’re ready for the next client, which requires labor, space, water and energy.

To meet growing demand, the Port of Portland will construct a Quick Turn-Around (QTA) facility at Portland International Airport to improve efficiency and reduce traffic congestion on Airport Way.  The new two-story QTA will provide approximately 158,000 square feet on each level.  The ground floor will offer a large-scale fueling and washing operation, while the second floor will be used for storage.  Extensive piping, data and controls are needed, and there are 14,000 square feet of office space to meet operator and rental car company needs.

In designing the new facility, the Port of Portland prioritized aesthetics and sustainability. The new facility adopts the design language of our Platinum LEED-certified headquarters.  It will mostly be screened from public view through aluminum screening panels, weathered steel walls and landscaping berms. 

Several building features focus on sustainability. Water conservation tops the list, as rental cars are washed upon return.  The 60,000 gallons of wash water used each day will not require use of treated City of Portland potable water; instead, this water will be primarily sourced from a new well, rainwater harvesting and recycling of wastewater.  LED lighting throughout the building will provide long-lasting and energy efficient illumination for the relatively high light levels required by this operation. The Port’s waste minimization program will offer waste recycling options.

The QTA construction project is scheduled to begin in early 2016 and wrap up by 2018. The next time you muddy your rental, think of the QTA and our sustainable solutions!

PORT Profiles: Urban Gleaners - PDX’s Food Donation Partner

by appell 12/10/2015 12:10 PM

January 2016 UPDATE: The PDX Holiday Food Donation Drive raised $388.11 for Urban Gleaners, enough to cover fuel and vehicle costs for 30 round trips to PDX to pick up donated food! Check out how the program stacks up against other airports across the country in this USA Today article.

Urban Gleaners is PDX’s partner in the food donation program – connecting tons of donated food from airport businesses to families in need. But what happens to donated food once Urban Gleaners picks it up from PDX? In this behind-the-scenes look, we learn about the program background and logistics of delivering food to people that need it.

After regularly seeing a lot of good food in compost bins at the airport, the Port’s Waste Minimization team partnered with the PDX Concessions Operations to implement a food donation program. The program at PDX allows restaurants to donate unsold, ready-to-eat food products such as sandwiches, salads, parfaits, baked goods, and produce. So far, Portland International Airport businesses have donated over 180,000 pounds (90 tons) of food, or over 120,000 meals, since the program began in February 2013.  

The Waste Minimization Team is a partnership between the Port of Portland and Portland State University’s Community Environmental Services program. The team leads innovation in waste minimization at PDX and other Port facilities. Closing the loop and connecting good food to families helps achieve the Port’s environmental policy and sustainability focus.

Erin Anderson (left), Kaileigh Westermann (middle left), and Grace Stainback (far right) of the Port of Portland’s Waste Minimization Team toured with Diana Foss (middle right), Urban Gleaners Director, to learn more about the food donation process and where food is delivered after it leaves PDX, November 2015.

Urban Gleaners makes three weekly stops at PDX to pick up food from a common refrigerator and shelving area that serves as centralized, storage location for donated food from all participating airport businesses. Once picked up, the truck brings food to the Urban Gleaners facility where it is sorted for distribution.

At the Urban Gleaners facility, a large row of refrigerators serve as holding areas for perishable food. Red means it is ready for volunteer sorting, yellow means the food can wait a day to be distributed and green means the food is ready to go out into the community.

Once sorted, Urban Gleaners loads food boxes in their trucks to deliver to 40 different locations in the Portland Metropolitan area. Primary recipients include the Food to Schools program and emergency food relief agencies. They also stock pantries in apartment buildings where there is a knownneed in the community. A new partnership with the CareOregon Food Rx program inspired experimenting with prepared foods, making chili, soups and casseroles, and freezing them until ready for distribution. Urban Gleaners does not charge for food. As Tracey Oseran, founder and Executive Director says, “People are hungry, and they need this food as they have nothing to eat.”

Shelves hold non-perishable food items and organize boxes ready for delivery to drop-off locations.

PDX airport vendors are one of the largest weekly donors, according to Diana Foss, “Our partnership with the PDX food donation program expanded the number of people we have been able to reach with good, nutritious food.” Many other Portland organizations contribute, including New Seasons, Dave’s Killer Bread, Simpatica Catering, Hopworks Urban Brewery and Whole Foods locations. Professional groups with leftover food after catered events frequently call for pick-up. Urban Gleaners has a dynamic, committed group of organizations that support their mission ”to help alleviate hunger by collecting edible, surplus food that would otherwise be thrown away and redistributing it to agencies that feed the hungry” Check their website for the latest information:

The Portland Fruit Tree Project donates fresh produce to Urban Gleaners, such as this recently donated bag of persimmons.

Several PDX businesses have teamed up to offer a Holiday Food Donation Drive December 20-26, 2015 by offering passengers the opportunity to donate $1 to Urban Gleaners with their purchase. Partners include Burgerville, Elephants and MOD Pizza. In addition, Panda Express is sponsoring a special luncheon for an Urban Gleaners school partners in early December 2015. Port of Portland and PDX businesses are proud to partner with Urban Gleaners to help feed families in need this holiday season, and all year-round!

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.