by Mary Ellen Eagan
This year the Environmental Affairs Conference teamed with the Operations and Technical Affairs Conference. There were several joint sessions, most notably on Integrating RNAV/RNP into the airport setting. Other hot topics included:
- Further discussion of FAA’s impending Program Guidance Letter on Residential Sound Insulation. Latest word is that ACI-NA and other industry groups will have an opportunity to review the draft shortly. Stand by.
- Air toxics and other ongoing air quality studies in the Los Angeles area.
- Strategies for noise stringency at upcoming CAEP meeting.
- PBN implementation and integration with airports: “NextGen begins and ends at airports”.
Our TRB meeting covered a lot of ground in a few hours, including:
- Introduction of new subcommittee chairs: Judith Patterson of Concordia University is the new Climate Subcommittee Chair, and Kristin Lemaster of CDM Smith is the new Sustainability Subcommittee Chair. Many thanks to John Putnam of Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell and Burr Stewart of Burrst, the outgoing chairs of those committees, respectively.
- Discussion of possible session topics for the 2013 TRB Annual Meeting, including: new standards for CO2 measurements (ICAO); NextGen Environmental Impacts: operational perspective ; Alternative Fuels Update; FAA CLEEN Program update; Implications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) on environment/planning; Equity and Access to commercial travel; and Aviation Carbon Credits. Stay tuned for the actual agenda!
- Presentations by Doug Bennett of the Southern Nevada Water Authority Chris Magee of the MGM Resorts International about efforts in Las Vegas to conserve water and be generally more sustainable.
I had been dreading holding two environmental meetings in Las Vegas, which I have long considered one of the least sustainable places on earth. However, after listening to these two guys talk about water conservation initiatives in Las Vegas – not just including the Strip, but especially the Strip – I was quite impressed. Following the meeting, several of us had dinner in the Aria Hotel, which has achieved USGBC LEED Gold Certification. More on the City Center’s Environmental Commitment – including an on-site cogeneration plant, specially designed low flow shower heads, and CNG limos here. My only wish is that it would be more visible to the tourist with an environmental conscience. This is one of those cases where what happens in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas.