Supreme Committee visits Port HQ

by Lisa Timmerman 3/1/2013 9:57 AM

The Port of Portland received a visit last week from the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee during their U.S. trade mission to the West Coast. The committee is responsible for planning infrastructure improvements for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Qatar is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and plans to renovate three stadiums and build nine new stadiums, open a new international airport, expand its container port facility and expand its light rail and highway systems ahead of the event.

The delegation was led by U.S. Ambassador to Qatar, Susan L. Ziadeh and Qatar Secretary General, Hassan Al-Thawadi. The group also visited Los Angeles and Seattle. Other stops during their stay in Portland included Nike and Jeld-Wen Field.

While at Port headquarters, the group toured our LEED Platinum building to learn more about its energy and water saving features, like our Living Machine®. Executive Director Bill Wyatt described Port operations in general and discussed the Port's sustainability efforts including parking guidance and QuickPay parking payment system that help reduce emissions from idling vehicles. The group, which had many questions even at the end of a long day touring Portland, was particularly interested in what drives the culture around sustainability in Portland. 

 

The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee (some sporting their Portland Timbers scarves) with Port Executive Director Bill Wyatt and Jennifer Woods, U.S. Department of Commerce

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Deicing program gets warm reception

by Lisa Timmerman 2/22/2013 3:09 PM

The Port of Portland was honored with an Environmental Achievement Award at the annual Slough Celebration, put on by the Columbia Slough Watershed Council. The award recognizes Portland International Airport's deicing program for its efforts to provide greater protection to the Columbia Slough water quality.

The Port installed PDX's original deicing collection system in 2003, which used a combination of monitoring, collection, treatment and controlled release of deicing stormwater runoff to the slough and City of Portland sanitary system. Though deicing material does not contain toxic substances, when it is released in large volumes and begins to biodegrade, it can cause increases in biological oxygen demand, which can be harmful to fish. When low flows in the slough contributed to permit exceedances, the Port sought out more aggressive options for treating deicing stormwater runoff. The Port constructed an on-site deicing treatment facility, one of only three of its kind in the nation, that uses microorganisms to break down deicing solution. The newly constructed facility completed a successful commissioning period in April 2012 and is now fully operational for the 2012-2013 winter season.

The Port's deicing program was nominated by Nancy Hendrickson, Columbia Slough watershed manager for the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. The Port has been involved with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for many years.

Bruce McClelland, Port of Portland deicing operations manager describes the significant benefits of the deicing program enhancements.

Receiving the Environmental Achievement Award; From left: Nancy Hendrickson, Columbia Slough watershed manager for the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Jane Van Dyke, Columbia Slough Watershed Council executive director and the Port deicing program team - George Seaman, engineering project manager, Susan Aha, deicing program manager, Larry McClure, deicing system specialist and Bruce McClelland, deicing operations manager.

(Photos courtesy of Kenny MacDonald and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council)

PDX leads the pack in bike access

by Lisa Timmerman 1/31/2013 2:36 PM

We are quite proud of our bike facilities here at Portland International Airport, but who doesn't like a little validation? PDX was featured in a study completed through the University of California Transportation Center and the Safe Transportation Research & Education Center at the University of California, Berkeley that looked at obstacles and opportunities for airport operators to improve bike access. The report included case studies of seven airports, and recognized PDX as "exemplary" due to its bike and pedestrian master planning efforts, convenient access, facilities that support bike commuting and connections with transit, bike routes and multi-modal trails.

California bike blog, Cyclist Chic, offers a great overview of the study. See the Safe Transportation Research & Education Center's website for the full study and a poster with highlights from the study. The Port of Portland first developed a Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan in 2003 and an update to the plan will be completed this year.

 

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.

Our avian visitor

by Lisa Timmerman 12/4/2012 4:44 PM

Port of Portland employees working out of our headquarters building have been treated to an up close and personal viewing of a barn owl over the last couple of days. The owl first appeared roosting on the window ledge on the south side of the building on Friday morning and has been spotted at a few different locations around the building since then. Take a look at a few of the great photos our staff were able to snap of our visitor.

According to The Raptor Institute, barn owls are one of the most widespread species of birds in the world. Birds can naturally be attracted to the open spaces at Portland International Airport, where our headquarters building is located, and we use a proactive Wildlife Management Program, to help prevent conflicts between birds and aircraft that utilize the facility.

       

Port participates in Airports Going Green

by Lisa Timmerman 11/30/2012 1:46 PM

The Port of Portland was honored to receive an award at the fifth annual Airports Going Green Conference in November. The conference is sponsored by the American Association of Airport Executives and the City of Chicago Department of Aviation. The Port competed against a field of airports across the world to receive accolades for our LEED Platinum Headquarters Building. In addition, Port project engineering lead, Dan Gilkison participated in a panel of presentations discussing the link between building design and human health. Airports Going Green encourages the aviation industry to use innovation to lead by example and face the challenge of protecting our environment for future generations.

Related Links:

Airports Going Green

Port of Portland Headquarters

Plug in at PDX

by Lisa Timmerman 10/25/2012 2:45 PM

 

We are pleased to announce that Portland International Airport now offers electric vehicle charging stations in our short-term parking garage. The six Level 2 charging stations are located on the fourth floor of the garage near the south skybridge that connects to the airport terminal building. Two of the stations are allocated for valet customers, and valet staff will perform the charge at no extra cost.

“The charging stations help us reduce carbon emissions, while at the same time supporting the growing trend of electric vehicles and giving our customers a wide range of transportation options,” said Michael Huggins, PDX landside operations manager for the Port of Portland.

The Port already has two charging stations in place for its two electric vehicles, and continues to grow the number of alternatively fueled vehicles in the Port fleet. Currently, 24 percent of the fleet are power by electric, compressed natural gas, flex-fuel or hybrid systems.

An additional boost to the electric vehicle market occurred this week when AAA announced it will run a pilot program beginning in June to introduce mobile electric vehicle charging to its roadside assistance trucks. Portland was one of six cities selected to be part of the pilot project.

Port carbon and energy accounting featured at annual GoGreen conference

by Lisa Timmerman 10/10/2012 9:04 AM

If you are planning to attend the fifth annual GoGreen Portland conference this Thursday at the Left Bank Annex, come check out Port of Portland Facilities Services Division Manager, Franko Martinec presenting about the Port's carbon footprint reduction and energy management strategy. Franko will be joined by Good Company's Aaron Toneys for a workshop entitled, Feet on the Ground or Head in the Clouds? Guidance from the Front Lines of Carbon and Energy Accounting. The session includes an overview of considerations for compiling a carbon footprint inventory and features the Port of Portland as a case study for analyzing opportunities to reduce carbon at an organizational level. 

In 2009, Port of Portland Commissioners adopted a target for the Port to achieve a 15 percent reduction below 1990 carbon levels by 2020. To begin working towards this ambitious goal, the Port created a carbon footprint reduction and energy management master plan. The process culminated in the development of a software tool that allows the Port to identify opportunities for carbon reduction and build portfolios of actions necessary to meet the target. The Port is a founding member of The Climate Registry and has been reporting carbon emissions since 2008. 

 

When it comes to flying, go with the flow

by Lisa Timmerman 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 Lisa Timmerman 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.