(photo: Miami-Dade Aviation Department)
Fri 7 Apr 2017 – Miami International Airport, Indianapolis Airport Authority, Minneapolis-St Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport have been announced as this year’s winners of the ACI-NA Environmental Achievement Awards. The four awards by trade association Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) recognise outstanding achievement in the categories of Environmental Management; Environmental Mitigation; Outreach, Education and Community Involvement; and Innovative/Special Projects. A runner-up award was made to Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The awards were started in 1997 and winning airports are required to demonstrate the environmental benefit of their project and its innovative approach, effective implementation, applicability and cost-effectiveness. Meanwhile, Dallas Fort Worth has received a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Leadership Award for Organizational Leadership.
The ACI-NA’s Environmental Management Award went to Miami International for its ‘Sustainability Project at MIA’, a $32 million large-scale effort involving air conditioning and ventilation upgrades, water conservation retrofits, energy-efficient lighting and other initiatives. They are expected to save the airport more than 35 million kilowatts of power per year and $40 million in utility costs over the 14-year contract period with Florida Power & Light Services.
An honourable mention went to Detroit’s reconstruction of runway 4L/22R and associated taxiways, which was among the first at an airport to apply sustainability practices to an airfield project and despite having to follow an aggressive schedule. The project has already received an award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, which recognises sustainable infrastructure across the full range of environmental, social and economic impacts.
The Outreach, Education and Community Involvement Award made to Indianapolis Airport Authority was for its ‘Community Bee Apiary’ project that is housed on 4.7 acres of otherwise unused airport land. A partnership with a local non-profit, the White Lick Beekeepers Association, the apiary helps to preserve the local honeybee population and serves as a training site for future beekeepers.
Minneapolis-St Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) won the Special/Innovative Project Award for the ‘Optimized Profile Descent Application and Associated Emission Reduction Results’ developed by the MAC Environment Department that quantifies the environmental benefits of fuel and carbon reductions achieved through Performance-based Navigation (PBN) procedures. The application was developed to be easily shareable with other airports and MAC has used it and the results in a collaborative effort with the community that resulted in approval for implementing PBN arrival procedures.
The Mitigation Award went to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport for its Noise Management Program. The airport has undertaken continuing engagement with different groups of stakeholders that has been combined with innovative noise reduction efforts, resulting in a reduced number of noise-related complaints received from the community, said ACI-NA.
Gene Peters, Director of Ricondo & Associates was presented with an individual award for his long-standing contributions to the ACI-NA Environmental Committee.
“North American airports recognise that continued sustainability leads to economic vitality and operational efficiency, while minimising their environmental footprint,” commented ACI-NA President Kevin Burke. “The 2017 Award winners are industry leaders when it comes to protecting the environment while serving their passengers and communities.”
Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) received its Climate Leadership Award from the EPA for the second year in a row, the first time an airport has achieved the recognition. The Organizational Leadership Award “recognises organisations that not only have their own comprehensive gas inventories and aggressive emissions reduction goals, but also exemplify extraordinary leadership in their internal response to climate change and the engagement of their peers, partners and supply chain,” reported DFW.
Last year, DFW became the first airport to receive the EPA award for Greenhouse Gas Management. “This year’s recognition proves we are committed to responding to climate change and implementing the emissions reduction initiatives we’ve set in place,” said DFW CEO Sean Donohue. “Our airport will continue to demonstrate global leadership in sustainability within the industry.”
The airport said it would be continuing with GHG reduction initiatives by increasing renewable energy and alternative fuel use, and by integrating best available energy-efficient technology into facilities, systems, processes and operations. Partnerships are also expected to be expanded, it added, with airlines, regulatory agencies, academia, NGOs, business associations and other stakeholders “to develop effective and sustainable solutions to improve air quality and reduce aviation’s impact on climate change.”
In August 2016, DFW became the first airport in North America to achieve the top carbon neutrality level status in the industry’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme (see article).
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