FAA Grants to Help Airports Improve Air Quality

DOT has awarded $33.7 million to help airports reduce emissions and improve air quality and has proposed a new Los Angeles-Beijing flight for American Airlines.

DOT has proposed to select American Airlines for new daily scheduled nonstop service between Los Angeles and Beijing, China. American and Delta applied for authority to operate daily round-tip nonstop flights between Los Angeles and Beijing; adding American would add a third U.S. carrier to the West Coast-Beijing market, increasing competition.

The U.S.-China aviation agreement caps the number of weekly flights each country's airlines can operate to Chinese cities. Four U.S. airlines—American, Delta, Hawaiian, and United—provide services. Because there are so few trips remaining, DOT could not split them between American and Delta. Objections to this ruling are due by Nov. 22, 2016.

In addition, DOT has awarded $33.7 million in FAA grants to help nine airports reduce emissions and improve air quality through FAA's Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) and Zero Emissions Airport Vehicle (ZEV) programs. "These grants represent the U.S. Department of Transportation's continued commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions and work with airports and communities to provide healthier air quality for all Americans," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.

The VALE program is designed to reduce all sources of airport ground emissions in areas that do not meet air quality standards. FAA established it in 2005 to help airport sponsors meet their air quality responsibilities under the Clean Air Act. The ZEV program, created through the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, allows airport sponsors to use AIP funds to purchase vehicles that produce zero exhaust emissions. "We applaud these airports for working to reduce ground emissions and being responsible stewards of the environment and good neighbors to surrounding communities," FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta said.

The airports receiving $31.1 million in VALE grants are:

  • Chicago O’Hare International, $3.6 million to purchase and install 124 electrical charging stations.
  • Memphis International, $2.4 million to purchase and install 11 ground-power units and 11 preconditioned air units (PCAs) for passenger gates.
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston, $1.5 million to purchase and install five PCAs for passenger gates and 68 electrical ground support recharging ports.
  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, $3.1 million to purchase and install 23 GPUs, five PCAs, and two air chilling units for passenger gates.
  • Los Angeles International Airport, $4 million to purchase and install nine GPUs and associated electrical infrastructure for remote parking sites.
  • Portland International Airport, $5.7 million to purchase and install 27 PCAs at passenger gates.
  • San Francisco International Airport, $10.6 million to purchase and install 5 GPUs and five PCAs and associated infrastructure at five remote maintenance stations.
  • Boise Airport, $200,000 to purchase and install a solar-powered system to heat water for the terminal.
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