The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded a $2 million grant to San Diego International Airport to reduce the use of conventional fuels at the airport to improve air quality.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that they are committed to helping airports around the country make the necessary infrastructure investments that will reduce fuel costs and help protect the environment.
The grant through the FAA’s Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) program is part of a major airport improvement project at San Diego International Airport called “The Green Build.” The grant will enable the airport to install a land-side power unit and pre-conditioned air unit at each of 10 new aircraft gates, as well as seven air units at existing gates. The units will allow aircraft arriving at the gates to shut off their auxiliary power units and connect to a cleaner central heating and cooling system, saving fuel and reducing aircraft emissions on the ground.
FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said the FAA encourages airlines and airports to find creative ways to reduce aviation’s impact on the environment.
In Fiscal Year 2011, the FAA provided VALE grants for 12 low-emission projects at 11 airports. Since 2005, the FAA has funded 52 low-emission projects at 30 airports, representing a total investment of $140 million ($110 million in federal grants and $30 million in local airport matching funds) in clean airport technology. Through VALE, airports are reducing ozone emissions by approximately 400 tons per year – the equivalent of removing 17,650 cars and trucks off the road annually.
For information about the program, including a list of eligible airports and projects, go to the VALE web site: www.faa.gov/airports/environmental/vale.