Posts Tagged ‘AAAE’

BRIGHT IDEAS! – How airports can obtain a rebate from the Federal Government for new construction or renovations – an EXCERPT FROM THE AAAE ENERGY FORUM, March 7, 2014

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

by Steve Barrett

I was at the AAAE Energy Forum in San Diego a few weeks back.  The forum is a lesser known gathering of the AAAE community every two years where participants focus exclusively on energy issues.  I was fortunate enough to moderate a roundtable segment of the program where funding of energy efficiency technologies was discussed.  Topics included experience with Energy Services Companies (ESCOs), utility rebates, tax credits, and potential funding from the FAA.  

One of the real gems from the conference was a discussion of the 179d Tax Deduction Program, which allows designers to file energy efficiency projects for as much as a 20% tax deduction.  Now your first reaction is likely that airports, as government entities, cannot take a tax deduction because they don’t pay taxes.  And you would be correct.  However, the Internal Revenue Service allows government entities, including airports, to formally assign the tax benefit to a private entity involved in the project construction that can take advantage of and monetize the tax deduction.  

So what type of work is eligible for a tax deduction? 

Answer: any new construction or major renovation completed within the past three years that included energy code improvements that are above the ASHRAE 90.1-2001 Standard.  A simple example is changing out all your traditional lighting in a parking garage with LEDs.  20% of the cost of that project can be returned to the airport and project consultant through the 179d Program.  A real world example is occurring at Miami-Dade International Airport which installed a new central power plant and will be receiving a $1.4m credit for the work.  If you are interested in learning more, please send me an email.

AAAE Energy Forum Recap

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

by Steve Barrett

The AAAE Energy Forum convened last week in sunny West Palm Beach, Florida.  The Forum was last held in Seattle in February of 2010 and several of the participants from that event, including me, worked on the organizing committee for this year’s forum.  The group expects the program to become an annual event with February in Florida acting as a great draw.

Energy Efficiency Forum Postcard

Besides the inviting weather, energy is a topic of great interest in the aviation community given escalating costs and innovative solutions.  The conference attracted 80 professionals with diverse expertise including airport staff, solar energy developers, energy and environmental consultants, airport planners, architects, engineers, utilities, and financial institutions.  Airports represented included Palm Beach, Orlando, Lee County, Metro Washington Airport Authority (MWAA), Minneapolis-St. Paul, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), Dallas-Fort Worth, Jackson Hole, Toronto, and Cold Lake Alberta.

I moderated the first two panels covering renewable energy topics.  I also made two separate presentations: “Technical Guidance for Evaluating Selected Solar Technologies at Airport [aka The Solar Guide]” and “Can Wind Energy and Aviation Be Compatible?”  Other renewable energy topics covered in presentations included solar development by airports and private lease holders, geothermal, and fuel cells.  There was a significant amount of programming on energy efficiency measures including the diversity of equipment replacement actions that can be taken, from light bulbs to heating and cooling systems, and quick payback periods.  An FAA representative summarized funding possibilities under the Voluntary Airport Low Emissions (VALE) Program and action by Congress just two weeks ago under the FAA Reauthorization allowing Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds to be used for energy efficiency-related upgrades.  The second day’s lunch speaker from “Space Florida” spoke about NASA’s plans for supporting a growing commercial spaceflight business including issuing contracts to private companies to ferry payload and passengers to the International Space Station over the next few years.

As energy issues continue to impact all aspects of commerce and quality of life, the AAAE Energy Forum is expected to become the aviation industry’s prime conference for discussing energy challenges and opportunities.  The committee has already started planning for next year’s event.

Presentations are posted on HMMH’s website.

AAAE National Airports Conference

Monday, September 27th, 2010

by Gene Reindel

San Diego was home to the 2010 F. Russell Hoyt National Airports Conference (NAC) September 19-21.

At the conference, the Reauthorization Bill was a hot topic.  When the following panel members were asked if they believed the FAA’s Reauthorization Bill would pass this year, the unanimous response was “no”:

  •  James Bennett, A.A.E., AAAE Chair and President/CEO Abu Dhabi Airports Co.
  • Thella Bowens, President/CEO San Diego International Airport
  • Kate Lang, Acting Associate Administrator for Airports, FAA
  • Paul Feldman, Vice President-Government Affairs, General Aviation Manufacturers Association
  • Bill Barkhauer, A.A.E., Executive Director Morristown Municipal Airport
  • Douglas Hofsass, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Transportation Sector Network Management, TSA
  • Ricky Smith, Director of Airports, Cleveland Airport System
  • Patty Higginbotham, Vice President-Polity and Chief of Staff Air Transportation Association

 The panel moderator, J. Spencer Dickerson, C.M., Senior Executive Vice President, AAAE stated that if the Bill is not passed this year, the process will have to begin all over.

Report from ACC/AAAE Planning Design and Construction Symposium

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

by Mary Ellen Eagan

I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 ACC/AAAE Planning Design and Construction Symposium this week in Atlanta (where the weather was more like Siberia, but that was probably a good way to keep us attending sessions!).

A couple of general themes that emerged were:

  • The aviation industry has done an incredible job of spending the $1.1b allocated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, strongly demonstrating that: (1) our industry can work collaboratively and efficiently to deliver projects, and (2) there is a strong need for continued infrastructure investment in aviation.  Specifically, John Duvall of AAAE reported that all the funding was allocated as of January 2010; a total of 326 ARRA projects were approved, and already 185 have been completed.  Certainly jobs were created in this industry!  There is discussion that aviation may receive an additional $500m in funding through the current Jobs Bill being debated in Congress.
  • Nevertheless, according to Ben DeCosta of Hartsfield-Atlanta International Airport (the world’s busiest), the number one issue facing airports today is a lack of revenue that flows throughout the industry.  Accordingly, the industry must continue to “design to budget”.  Susan Baer of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey echoed that while the industry has never been “wasteful”, it is more important than ever to prioritize cost in design – her example was the new JetBlue Terminal at JFK (here and here), where significant emphasis was paid to cost, and still a gorgeous result.

I spent most of my time at the Symposium attending the Sustainability Track. Suzanne Geckle of CH2M HILL did a great job organizing a diverse and information-packed agenda, even though she just returned from maternity leave this week (that’s my kind of gal!).  Sessions included: 

  • Can Airports Meet LEED Goals?
  • Funding Green Initiatives
  • Lasting Passenger Friendly Sustainable Materials
  • Sustainable Airfields
  • IT Controls to Reduce Costs and Emissions

I particularly enjoyed presentations by Mike Kenney of KB Environmental Sciences on IT and Air Quality Modeling, and Ripley Rasmus of HOK on sustainable design for Indianapolis International Airport’s new LEED Terminal.

Finally, my personal highlight of the conference was the announcement of the 2010 Jay Hollingsworth Speas Award to Rick Busch at Denver International Airport.  DIA has been an HMMH client since its inception, and we are very proud to see Rick and his team get the recognition they deserve for a comprehensive, innovative, and effective noise management program.

Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport

Airport Noise Mitigation Discussed in Boca Raton, Florida

Friday, October 9th, 2009

by Gene Reindel

The Boca Raton Airport Authority hosted the ninth annual AAAE Airport Noise Mitigation Symposium (ANMS), which turned out to be one of the best nine years.  Kim Singer, Boca Raton Airport Authority Public Affairs and ANMS Chair for 2009, provided venue in Delray Beach that will be nearly impossible to beat, and scheduled a tour of their recently completed sound insulation program which highlighted the designs required to meet the recently updated codes in south Florida.

In between the fun, the ANMS provided attendees with applicable information for implementing a successful airport sound insulation or land acquisition program as part of their noise mitigation.  Topics ranged from shrinking noise contours to noise programs outside the 65 DNL on the noise side, to dealing with homeowners and green technologies on the implementation side, to implementing land acquisition programs and disposing of land acquired for noise purposes.  The most interesting session occurred when contractors and suppliers identified issues prevalent in sound insulation programs around the country and sought out solutions from the roundtable members and the audience.  This session was successful at keeping the audience engaged throughout the duration, much akin to the Merv Griffin Show – okay, now I am dating myself.

I feel compelled to recognize Eric Raboin from the Jones Payne Group in Boston for chairing the ANMS Agenda Committee and for delivering the successful and compelling agenda for the conference attendees.  Due to the economy at airports, the session moderators had a difficult time finding speakers, but through perseverance of the moderators and the unwavering support from Mr. Raboin, all the sessions were a success.  At the ANMS Planning Committee debrief after the Symposium concluded, the entire Committee in attendance thanked Mr. Raboin for his dedication and service with round of applause. 

For airports in the throws of implementing a sound insulation programs and/or a land acquisition program, or for those airports beginning or considering to implement such a program, the ANMS is a must attend event.  The social networking with peers in similar programs across the country is undeniably beyond compare.  You will get more information and tools to help ensure a successful program at your airport in two days at the ANMS than you would otherwise obtain in a year of planning.  And the connections you make at the ANMS will remain intact as you continue throughout the year in your programs.

I am already looking forward to the 10th annual ANMS, which will be hosted by San Francisco International Airport in early October, 2010.  Mark your calendars for October 3, 4, and 5, 1010.  I hope to see you in San Francisco.