By Nate Kimball, Environmental and Sustainability Specialist, Aviation
Earth Day is commemorated each April 22, but the Port Authority’s commitment to clean air, land and water is a 24/7 proposition 365 days a year, whether it’s electric vehicle charging stations at local airports or innovative microgrid strategies designed to conserve energy. For all Port Authority facilities, green means go as the agency works to maintain environmentally sound operations and contribute to a sustainable, thriving economy. At the airports, green initiatives are positively impacting facility operations and the traveling public.
Here are just some of the current environmental and energy efforts:
- Energy efficiency projects will save the Port Authority an estimated $1.6 million per year in energy costs, while providing improved lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning for customers.
- Microgrid feasibility studies are under way at Stewart Airport to increase energy independence during emergencies. Microgrids can operate independently of a local power grid, allowing operational continuity if power grids are disrupted.
- Compost programs at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and John F. Kennedy International (JFK) are diverting more than 10 tons of food waste monthly from landfills.
- Supplying parked airplanes with electricity, heat and air conditioning from the terminal, rather than plane engines, reduces jet fuel use.
- Fifteen electric vehicle charging stations are available in public parking garages at LGA, JFK International and Newark Liberty International airports.
- Using green cleaning products in terminals and office areas to support healthy work and travel environments.
- A reduction in aircraft ground delays means a savings of more than four million gallons of jet fuel per year. That’s enough for a Boeing 777 to complete 150 round trips between JFK and Europe.
- Eighty-five percent of the Port Authority’s fleet uses alternative fuels, earning the agency recognition from Government Fleet Magazine as the nation’s third-greenest fleet among 38,000 government fleets in 2014 and 2015.