Portland International receives FAA VALE environmental grant towards purchase of clean technology buses
All PDX parking lot buses run on compressed natural gas (photo: PDX)
Mon 11 Aug 2014 – Portland International Airport has received a $331,653 environmental grant from the FAA towards the purchase of six compressed natural gas buses that transport airport passengers and employees from the terminal to parking and car rental facilities. The award comes through the FAA’s Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) programme, which is designed to reduce sources of airport ground emissions in areas of marginal air quality. The programme was implemented in 2005 to help airports meet their air quality responsibilities under the US Clean Air Act and the FAA has so far funded 67 VALE clean technology projects at 34 airports, with a total investment of $167 million made up of $133 million in federal grants and $34 million in local matching funds.
Announcing the award, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said it supported President Obama’s efforts to reduce carbon pollution and increase the deployment of cleaner, alternative fuel technologies. “It complements broad efforts across the FAA to expand the development and use of new technologies for aviation fuels that will benefit human health and the environment,” he said.
The VALE programme allows airports to use Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds and passenger facility charges to acquire low-emission vehicles, refuelling and recharging stations, gate electrification and other airport-related air quality improvements. More than 3,300 airports in the United States covering commercial passenger, cargo and general aviation activities are eligible for AIP grants, says the FAA.
In fiscal year 2013, the FAA issued VALE grants totalling $17 million for eight projects at eight airports. Through the programme, the FAA estimates airports have reduced ozone emissions by 466 tons per year, equivalent to removing 26,000 cars and trucks from the road annually.