Posts Tagged ‘airport sustainability’

Observations from a Panel at the ACC/AAAE Design and Construction Conference in Denver

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

by Stephen Barrett

I had the pleasure of participating in a panel on how airports apply unique engineering techniques to take advantage of available resources. I started off the panel discussion by presenting information on ACRP 02-56, Developing the Airport Business Case for Renewable Energy where I described how the research will produce a ranking system which quantifies the economic, self-sustainability, and environmental benefits of renewable energy projects. These benefits include stabilizing long-term electricity costs, investing in a modernized electricity generation and distribution network to ensure reliability and resiliency, and advancing environmental initiatives to open up permitting for future development. Traci Holton, Manager of Design at the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, followed up with a discussion of a variety of examples from Nashville Airport (BNA) including solar planning (which I am helping them with – thanks for the kudos Traci), to asphalt and rock reuse, to converting mulch produced through vegetation management activities into improving site stabilization and minimizing runoff. Traci also described their Geothermal Project which will utilize the constant water temperature from a large on-site quarry for heating and cooling resulting in savings to the airport from avoided natural gas use and potable water previously purchased for boiler make-up and on-site irrigation. The project is currently out-to-bid with a design-build format and requiring a minimum payback period. The last speaker was Dale Stubbs, Associate Vice President for AECOM in Atlanta, who talked about Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson’s (ATL) Green Acres Recycling Facility that is presently under development. The unique facility will be built, owned and operated by a third party contractor on 39-acres of airport property where all the airport’s waste will be delivered, sorted and managed including the use of compost for growing food that will be sold back to concessionaires. Each of these projects shows how airports can be leaders in developing innovative approaches to areas such as energy consumption and waste management that can produce a financial benefit through the efficient use of available resources.

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.