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.
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.
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.
Vertical garden nestled in PDX's multi-level parking structure
6/29/2012 12:50 PM
Air Transport World announced Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest among the winners of the magazine’s inaugural Eco-Aviation Awards. SAFN was recognized as Eco-Partnership of the Year for collaboration on the nation’s first regional stakeholder effort to explore the opportunities and challenges surrounding the production of sustainable aviation fuels.
The Port of Portland has been involved with SAFN since it launched in July 2010, along with partners Boeing, Alaska Airlines, Port of Seattle, Spokane International Airport and Washington State University. “We continue to use our position in the industry and the region to share the lessons learned from this project to encourage innovation around the production and use of sustainable aviation fuels in the Northwest,” said Phil Ralston, Port of Portland aviation environmental and safety manager. The project mapped a path to develop a safe, sustainable and economically viable aviation biofuels industry in the Northwest, with a broader aim of achieving carbon-neutral growth across the aviation industry beyond 2020.
6/22/2012 1:29 PM
Boasting numerous cycling events and a diehard bike culture, it’s not surprising that Portland is back on top as the nation’s best city for cycling. Whether you’re a frequent flyer or arriving in Portland for the first time, you may be surprised to learn that PDX offers some unique bike-friendly features, including our bike assembly station recently mentioned in a CNN article about outstanding airport amenities.
Last Friday, Port of Portland staff once again got to show off our bike facilities when our friends at PDX By Bike returned to host the Airport Ride as part of Pedalpalooza 2012. Participants took advantage of the beautiful weather to enjoy multi-use paths leading up to and around the airport and toured the amenities that welcome travelers. First-time visitors may want to check out PDX By Bike’s bike guides and zine for cyclists new to Portland. Regular travelers, flying to and from PDX, benefit from secure bike parking areas. If you missed the ride, you can learn more about the airport’s bike resources online.
Port of Portland Bike Resources
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.
DJCs 2012 TopProjects - Winners
PDX Deicing Treatment Facility - Contest Submission by JE Dunn Construction
3/21/2012 3:54 PM
Renewable electricity using light and heat from the sun is helping Portland International Airport win the war on winter, and protect nearby waterways.
Solar panels are contributing power to the treatment facility for the airport’s newly expanded deicing stormwater collection system. The facility treats runoff containing deicers used on the airfield and aircraft to enhance flight safety when the weather is cold.
The facility’s largest of two solar arrays is a 28-kilowatt ground-mount system featuring 120 SolarWorld panels commissioned in December. The project was funded through a Blue Sky renewable energy grant from Pacific Power. Commissioned in November, a n additional 6.6-kilowatt ground-mount system utilizing 32 solar panels also serves the facility. Both solar arrays are examples of the Port’s continuing work to integrate environmental considerations into our operations.
“We are proud to be a part of the solar energy movement,” said Susan Aha, Port of Portland deicing program manager. “It allows us (the Port) to do our jobs efficiently, and sustain the benefits of our work in the community for years to come.”
Following two years of construction, testing is now underway on the expanded deicing stormwater collection system. The system includes a new 3-million gallon concentrated runoff storage tank, two 6.5-million gallon dilute runoff storage tanks, and three pump stations. Also included is the treatment facility, more than six miles of underground piping, and an outfall to the Columbia River. All system components are scheduled to operate in full compliance with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality permit requirements by April 30.
11/22/2011 2:35 PM
More than 6,000 hot beverage cups travel through PDX daily, resulting in over 2.2 million cups sent to the landfill each year. Because most hot beverage containers aren’t accepted into Oregon’s recycling stream, a large amount of productive material is wasted. That is why the Port, Starbucks, and HMS Host (operators of Starbucks at PDX) joined forces to help find a recyclable solution, one cup at a time.
Port Aviation environmental compliance manager Stan Jones and the PDX Recycles Team worked with Starbucks as part of a national effort to find a solution. Our goal at PDX was simple: Gather enough cups to conduct an initial study to determine if the hot beverage cups could be accepted into the recycled cardboard stream.
The pilot program collected nearly 500 pounds of used coffee cups at PDX over a two month period. Cups were sent to the Longview Fiber paper mill for a trial run. The results showed that hot beverage cups could indeed be pulped at the Washington mill and potentially accepted into the recycled cardboard production stream. Next, Starbucks will test a larger load to determine how a higher percentage of cups affects the overall pulping process and material mix.
This marks a major milestone in finding a solution to recycling hot beverage cups in Oregon. Here in Portland, we love our coffee AND recycling. Strategies that promote both are always encouraged, and we are pleased to work Starbucks and HMS Host on this project.
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.
11/11/2011 10:38 AM
Big week in aviation biofuels! On Wednesday, Alaska Airlines began using a 20 percent biofuel blend in 75 commercial passenger flights between Portland, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. The fuel will be used over the next two weeks to demonstrate the effectiveness of biofuels in jet aircraft and to encourage growth in the aviation biofuels industry.
This move comes after Alaska Airlines’ participation in Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest, a regional effort to study opportunities for exapanding the aviation biofuels industry in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve covered the Port’s participation, along with Alaska Airlines and many other entities, elsewhere on the Port Currents blog, including the recent announcement that the project had been received an Environmental Innovation Award from Airports Council International - North America.
At the current scale of production, the biofuel blend is not cheap – it’s roughly six times more expensive than regular jet fuel. However, Alaska Airlines hopes to demonstrate that the aviation industry is willing and able to participate in new market opportunities. Bill Ayer, Alaska Air Group Chairman and CEO, said, “To the biofuels industry, we say: if you build it, we will buy it.”
Check back for more on this interesting and still-developing issue. Pictures from the first biofueled flight from Portland International Airport below.