Phoenix, AZ – Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport was recently awarded one million dollars as part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) environmental grant program. This grant will reduce emissions at the airport by funding the development of electric charging infrastructure to support the replacement of diesel-powered airline ground service equipment (GSE) with electric.
This is Phoenix Sky Harbor’s first VALE grant. As part of this grant, 28 electric charging stations will be installed around Terminal 4. Southwest Airlines and Piedmont Airlines will be the primary users of the charging stations. In the first year, Piedmont, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines, plans to convert eight bag tractors. Southwest Airlines will convert 25 bag tractors and five bag loaders. In the second year, five additional belt loaders and 25 bag tractors will be converted by Southwest.
As a result of the conversion from diesel-powered GSE to electric, there will be a reduction of emissions of particulate matter, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. In fact, the projected reduction is about 345 tons of air pollutants over the course of this project which equals 2,345 cars off the roadway per year.
“Over the past four years Phoenix has become the best sustainability comeback story in the nation, and our commitment to emission-reducing alternative-fuel technology is a big part of that success,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “This grant will help Maricopa County meet its air quality goals while establishing Sky Harbor as a leader in sustainable growth to other airports in the region and the community.”
The city of Phoenix has worked in conjunction with the Maricopa County Air Quality Control Department. As part of this project, Airport Emission Reduction Credits will be generated that can be used to meet future air emission requirements.
Phoenix Sky Harbor was one of 11 airports across the country to receive a grant through the FAA’s VALE and Zero Emissions Airport Vehicle (ZEV) programs. The reduction in GSE emissions is part of the Aviation Department’s 2015 Sustainability Management Plan. For more information, visit https://skyharbor.com/About/Sustainability.