Published June 2023
The American Association of Airport Executives’ (AAAE) Airport Consortium on Transformation (ACT) Program provides a collaborative forum for airports, industry partners, and other interested parties to address innovative topics requiring research for airports to prepare for the future. One of these topics is sustainable energy and resiliency. While this is a broad topic, the Sustainable Energy and Resiliency working group focuses on reducing CO2 emissions through several sources of clean power, including electric and hydrogen.
The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has developed an Airport Climate Challenge with a net-zero emissions goal for U.S. airports by the year 2050. In addition, airports around the globe have banded together to align with the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, by 2050. The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change that was adopted by 196 parties in December 2015 and entered into force in November 2016. Achieving this goal will require an industry-wide effort to abate as much CO2 as possible in our day-to-day operations, which will include updating policies, researching sustainable aviation fuels, utilizing new technologies and more efficient infrastructure, and utilizing other sources of clean power.
The ACT Sustainable Energy and Resiliency working group focused its study on two areas: understanding energy capacity at airports, and a pilot study on the use of electric Ground Support Equipment (eGSE) chargers. To better understand energy capacity, the working group advocates for a Maturity Model to understand the energy capacity specific to each airport. This tool can be used as part of the master planning and sustainability planning processes. A Maturity Model helps an airport to understand the current demands on its facilities and seeks to determine which assets are consuming energy, how much additional power is needed for electric chargers, and where the additional power will be found. Four airports — Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) — piloted eGSE chargers, and lessons learned are described in subsequent sections of this report.
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The ACT Resiliency & Sustainability Working Group has been actively supported by a range of airports and industry partners.
Contact Jeremy Valcich at [email protected] to learn more.