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14 This chapter presents in-depth case examples of 14 selected small airports that participated in this study. One state division of aeronautics is also highlighted in a case example to showcase the divi- sionâs efforts at encouraging sustainability plans at airports throughout the state. The purpose of these case examples is to present ideas of sustainable initiatives that have been successfully imple- mented (or soon will be) so that readers can obtain ideas about potential initiatives, including barriers and lessons learned, that their airport may pursue. Table 5 presents a summary of each of the 14 case examples. CASE EXAMPLE 1: IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS Piggott Municipal Airport, Piggott, Arkansas FAA General Aviation Socioeconomic Benefits and Community Outreach/Involvement; Economic Vitality Some airports are implementing innovative sustainable initiatives. In Piggott, Arkansas, the Piggott Municipal Airport has pursued sustainable initiatives as many airports have, but this airport has con- tributed toward its 10% or 5% match in an unusual wayâwith in-kind contributions (Table 6). The use of in-kind contributions has been received warmly by those overseeing projects funded by the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics, and it appears that FAA would also consider in-kind contribu- tions for FAA-funded projects. Jeff Puckett, Piggott Municipal Airport manager, described how, in building a new airport access road and parking area, the airport secured a state grant to fund a large portion of the project. Rather than provide matching funds in the form of cash, the airport petitioned the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics to accept in-kind contributions in the form of donated heavy equipment to be oper- ated by airport volunteers, namely Airport Board members. With approval granted, the airport was able to secure heavy equipment from a local equipment rental company that always provides strong community support. Several board members volunteered their time, with one driving the heavy equipment to clear the area and level the base. A contractor then poured the road and parking area pavement and finished the work with striping and such. The equipment rental company provided a pure donation, with a receipt for cost of equipment, but was not financially reimbursed. According to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 Section 215.23 Cost Sharing or Matching, âAll contributions, including cash and third party in-kind, shall be accepted as part of the recipientâs cost sharing or matching when such contributions meet all of the following criteria: 1. Are verifiable from the recipientâs records. 2. Are not included as contributions for any other federally-assisted project or program. 3. Are necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient accomplishment of project or program objectives. 4. Are allowable under the applicable cost principles. 5. Are not paid by the Federal Government under another award, except where authorized by Federal statute to be used for cost sharing or matching. 6. Are provided for in the approved budget when required by the Federal awarding agency. 7. Conform to other provisions of this Circular, as applicable (FAA 2014b, para. 1).â chapter four CASE EXAMPLES
15 FAA (2014b) also states: Volunteer services furnished by professional and technical personnel, consultants, and other skilled and unskilled labor may be counted as cost sharing or matching if the service is an integral and necessary part of an approved project or program. Rates for volunteer services shall be consistent with those paid for similar work in the recipientâs organization. In those instances in which the required skills are not found in the recipient organization, rates shall be consistent with those paid for similar work in the labor market in which the recipient competes for the kind of services involved. In either case, paid fringe benefits that are reasonable, allowable, and allocable may be included in the valuation. Airport manager Puckett encouraged other airports considering in-kind contributions to: â¢ Partner with the granting authority early to determine if in-kind contributions will be accepted. â¢ Be careful with volunteers; they may not be skilled professionals and could be well-meaning but cause cost overruns by creating problems that a contractor must correct. Case Example Practice Category Airport 1. In-kind contributions Socioeconomic benefits and community outreach/involvement; economic vitality Piggott Municipal Airport, Piggott, Arkansas 2. Statewide sustainability toolkit for general aviation airports Socioeconomic benefits; economic vitality/operational efficiency; multiple additional areas on a per- airport basis Colorado Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics 3. Electric/diesel utility vehicles and terminal retrofit Economic vitality/operational efficiency; air quality enhancement; energy conservation; buildings/facilities Monroe County Airport, Bloomington, Indiana 4. Efficient lighting and hardscape installation Energy conservation; water conservation Riverside Municipal Airport, Riverside, California 5. Multiple measures Energy conservation; solid waste reduction/recycling Eastern Sierra Regional Airport, Bishop, California 6. LEED equivalency Energy conservation; water conservation; buildings/facilities College Park Airport, College Park, Maryland 7. Potential photovoltaic solar field Energy conservation/renewable energy Chautauqua County/Dunkirk Airport, Dunkirk, New York 8. LED airfield lighting Energy conservation Centennial Airport, Denver, Colorado 9. Photovoltaic solar field Energy conservation/renewable energy Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, Lakeland, Florida 10. Photovoltaic solar field and rotating beacon Energy conservation/renewable energy; land/property use; operational efficiency Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport, Smyrna, Tennessee 11. Reclaimed water Water quality protection and water conservation; land and natural resources management Livermore Municipal Airport, Livermore, California 12. Sensitive environment Land and natural resources management; land/property use Ocean County Airport, Toms River, New Jersey 13. Honeybees Land and natural resources management Jackson County Airport, Gainesboro, Tennessee 14. Recycling Materials use and solid waste reduction/recycling San Bernardino International Airport, San Bernardino, California TABLE 5 SUMMARY OF CASE EXAMPLES Initiative Drivers Outcomes Metrics Barriers Lessons Learned In-kind contributions Lower cost, ensure timely project completion, allow community to support Less costly, timely completion, allowed for community support Project cost; completion date; goodwill Expertise and willingness of volunteers, granting authority acceptance of in-kind contributions Insist on professionals; partner with granting authority early. TABLE 6 PIGGOTT MUNICIPAL AIRPORT
16 â¢ Insist on professionals. Most board members, for example, have other skills used in their full- time line of work that may benefit an airport in a unique way. â¢ Most contractors for rural airports are based hundreds of miles away, enabling the airport or municipality to partner with the contractor to ensure project completion. â¢ By using in-house personnel, the project bid specifications will reflect only that portion of the project not performed by in-house personnel, effectively lowering the final project cost. CASE EXAMPLE 2: STATEWIDE SUSTAINABILITY TOOLKIT FOR GENERAL AVIATION AIRPORTS Colorado Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics Socioeconomic Benefits; Economic Vitality/Operational Efficiency; Multiple Additional Areas on a Per-Airport Basis Colorado is the first state to receive FAA funding to develop a web-based platform for the stateâs GA airports to develop customized airport sustainability plans (Table 7). This test case provides funding for the Colorado Division of Aeronautics to develop this web-based platform. The division currently has a web-based information management system (WIMS) that is accessible to all Colorado airports and is used to administer all state airport grants. The airport sustainability toolkit is simply an exten- sion of this existing web-based information management system. Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) created a statewide sustainability plan, but the Division of Aeronautics was motivated to see airports throughout the state develop individual airport sustainability plans that would complement the statewide plan (Figures 4 and 5). However, the divi- sion recognized that most GA airports throughout the state were minimally staffed and operated within small budgets, factors that likely interfered with their ability to develop their own airport sustainability plan. Therefore, the division embarked on an FAA-funded effort to develop a web-based toolkit that allows airport staff to enter various parameters and respond to various questions. Once all the data are entered and selections made, the toolkit generates an airport sustainability plan. The toolkit is simple and free to use. Three airports (RifleâGarfield County Airport, Canon CityâFremont County Airport, and DenverâCentennial Airport) are the three test cases for the sustainability toolkit. Results thus far are encouraging. The Aeronautics Division is planning for a spring 2016 rollout to all GA airports in the state. Although lessons learned are minimal at the current phase of the project, reported issues include: â¢ The staffs of many small airports are not aware of the potential value in sustainability plans. â¢ The state can bring about economies of scale, making it easier and less costly for small airports to pursue sustainability. â¢ An easy process must be created for airports to develop a sustainability plan and pursue sustain- able initiatives. â¢ Those already using the toolkit are hopeful there will be a snowball effect: One airport will see the benefits another airport enjoys by virtue of having developed a sustainability plan, which will then provide motivation for that and other airports to pursue a sustainability plan (Figure 6). Initiative Drivers Outcomes Metrics Barriers Lessons Learned Web-based sustainability toolkit Make it easier for small airports to develop sustainability plans Economies of scale with statewide web- based airport sustainability toolkit Number of Colorado general aviation airports with sustainability plans IT programming time; initially securing FAA funding Encourage sustainability plans by making the process easier and free. TABLE 7 CDOT DIVISION OF AERONAUTICS
17 FIGURE 5 CDOT sustainability initiative (Source: CDOT Division of Aeronautics WIMS 2015). FIGURE 4 CDOT sustainability initiative profile (Source: CDOT Division of Aeronautics WIMS 2015).
18 CASE EXAMPLE 3: ELECTRIC/DIESEL UTILITY VEHICLES AND TERMINAL RETROFIT Monroe County Airport, Bloomington, Indiana FAA General Aviation Airport Economic Vitality/Operational Efficiency; Air Quality Enhancement; Energy Conservation; Buildings/Facilities The staff of the Monroe County Airport, located in Bloomington, Indiana, was exploring ways in which to be more environmentally friendly. Because the airport had a small budget for sustainable initiatives, it was important to consider initiatives that were affordable yet created the intended envi- ronmental impact. Airport staff decided upon three initiatives (Table 8). First, the airport purchased one electric golf cart and two small, diesel-powered utility vehicles. With a desire to âgo greenâ and minimize fossil fuel use (thus saving money on fuel), this was an easily supported initiative. Whereas airport maintenance personnel once used full-size, gasoline-powered, pickup trucks, these personnel FIGURE 6 CDOT sustainability dashboard (Source: CDOT Division of Aeronautics WIMS 2015). Initiative Drivers Outcomes Metrics Barriers Lessons Learned Electric and diesel utility vehicles Reduce fuel costs, benefit the environment Environmental benefits, reduced fuel costs, and high utilization of new vehicles Fuel costs, maintenance personnel comments Determining which initiative to pursue, considering budget Utility of these vehicles is superb. Terminal retrofit Reduce HVAC demands, enhance aesthetics Reduced HVAC demands through lower utility costs, enhanced aesthetics Utility costs, patron comments Costâbenefit of project Benefits can be greater than costs; think outside the box. TABLE 8 MONROE COUNTY AIRPORT
19 now carry out many of the same tasks using the smaller and more efficient, diesel-powered utility vehicles and electric-powered golf cart. Although the pickup truck remains in the airportâs fleet and is used to travel to the store for supplies, for example, maintenance personnel mostly use the new vehicles in their daily work. As Amy Gharst, airport administrative assistant, explained, âWith the new vehicles, maintenance personnel can load up the weed eater, chainsaw, and other tools to repair fences, apply pesticides and fertilizer, and in general, maintain the airfield and terminal as they did before, yet we have reduced our fuel use and had a positive impact on the environment.â The second initiative pursued by the Monroe County Airport was replacing the water heater that supplies hot water to the food and beverage concessionaire with an energy-efficient, on-demand, tank- less water heater. Previously, the gas water heater was located in a supply closet behind the menâs rest- room. The concessionaire had to turn on the faucet and wait some time with the water running before hot water traveled the distance from the water heater to the concessionaireâs kitchen. The tankless water heater has been installed in the concessionaireâs kitchen, providing instant, on-demand hot water. This initiative has significantly reduced water use as well as natural gas use because it is no longer necessary to keep many gallons of water hot at all times. The third initiative was more expensive than the previous two but allowed the airport to retain the 1965-era terminal building while transitioning the building to a more energy-efficient facility. The termi- nal building had been constructed with walls of concrete block, which were visible within the terminal; the walls were painted. In an effort to enhance the energy efficiency of this older building, the airport manager decided to install insulation and drywall on the interior of the concrete block walls. This not only enhanced the efficiency of the building, resulting in reduced heating, ventilation, and air condition- ing (HVAC) costs, but also enhanced the aesthetics of the space. In general, as Gharst explained, âWhile costs of a sustainable project may initially discourage a small airport from pursuing such a project, there are sustainable initiatives that can actually reduce airport costs and enhance the bottom line, all the while benefiting the environment.â Staff of small airports must be willing to think outside the box and consider that each initiative, regardless of how insignificant it may appear, can have a positive impact on the environment and the airportâs bottom line. CASE EXAMPLE 4: EFFICIENT LIGHTING AND HARDSCAPE INSTALLATION Riverside Municipal Airport, Riverside, California FAA Reliever Energy Conservation; Water Conservation The Riverside Municipal Airport, owned and operated by the city of Riverside, California, has developed a comprehensive approach to reducing the facilityâs environmental impact (Table 9). Initiative Drivers Outcomes Metrics Barriers Lessons Learned Efficient lighting Budget, electricity costs Reduced utility use Month-over- month reduction in utility bill Expenses of contracting out; expense of trying to do it all in one year Look for local rebate programs through local utilities; try to do all the work in- house. Hardscape installation Drought, state mandate Reduced water use Month-over- month reduction in water bill Expenses of contracting out; expense of trying to do it all in one year Consider all water use; look for local rebate programs through local utilities; try to do all the work in- house. TABLE 9 RIVERSIDE MUNICIPAL AIRPORT
20 The airport has pursued two sustainable initiatives. In an effort to reduce electricity use, the air- port replaced 39 flood lights that illuminated the rampâat 400 watts eachâwith the same num- ber of 152-watt LED lights. Light output has improved, and energy use has declined significantly. Riverside used the cityâs own maintenance personnel to perform this lightning replacement, thereby reducing costs for the airport compared with the work being performed by contractors. In addition, the airport installed motion sensors on most interior office lights in the main terminal building, allowing the lights to automatically turn off when an office is not occupied. The instal- lation of these motions sensors also was performed by city maintenance personnel. The airport is in the process of replacing parking lot lighting with LED lights. The airport has also replaced taxiway edge lights with LED lights and has plans to transition runway lights to LED lights as grant funds become available. In April 2015, for the first time in state history and as a result of the stateâs historic drought, California Governor Jerry Brown directed the State Water Resources Control Board to imple- ment mandatory water reductions in cities and towns across California to reduce water usage by 25%. Rainfall in the Riverside area, located in the âInland Empire,â amounts to less than 10 in. annually (âRainfall Summaryâ 2015). Because of this minimal rainfall, most residen- tial and commercial areas rely on irrigation to maintain green spaces. The city of Riverside developed a comprehensive program to comply with the mandated water use reduction, and the Riverside Municipal Airport was part of the solution. The airport removed grass and veg- etation from almost 30% of their areal and replaced them with a hardscape (gravel, concrete, and the like) (Figure 7). The airportâs irrigation system was adjusted so these areas would no longer receive water. In addition, the irrigation system for the entire airport was adjusted for all irrigation zones to water less frequently. Much of the work to replace green spaces with hardscape was performed at no cost to the airport by personnel enrolled in the Riverside County Sheriff Departmentâs Full-Time Work Release Program. This program allows low-risk offenders who have been sentenced to jail time to work 8 to 10 h per day in lieu of 1 day of jail time (âFull-Time Work Release Programâ 2015). In another measure, urinals in the menâs restrooms were replaced with low-flow urinals, reducing the amount of water used per flush from 1 to 0.5 gal. Kim Ellis, Riverside Municipal Airport manager, encouraged other airports to âDo it! Donât wait.â Airport managers have an obligation to their tenants to keep costs down, so if the sustainabil- ity initiative will produce greater benefits than costs, an airport is obligated to pursue it. With some FIGURE 7 Riverside Municipal Airport hardscape (Source: D. Prather 2016).
21 sustainability initiatives, the payback is almost immediate, whereas others have longer-term payback periods. As Ellis explained, âBy contracting out work, the cost will be higher, which will extend the payback period.â He encouraged airports to be innovative in their approach and discover ways to perform work in-house, either with airport labor or city or county labor. CASE EXAMPLE 5: MULTIPLE MEASURES Eastern Sierra Regional Airport, Bishop, California FAA General Aviation Energy Conservation; Solid Waste Reduction/Recycling The Eastern Sierra Regional Airport, located in Bishop, California, is managed by Ken Babione. This airport, which has three runways, is located just east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range at an altitude of 4,124 ft above mean sea level. A unique aspect of this airport is the comprehen- sive sustainability mind-set displayed by Babione. The airport has adopted common sustainability measures, including recycling; installing double-paned windows and energy-efficient fluorescent lighting in a new building; installing motion sensors to automatically turn off interior lights when not in use; installing LED lighting on the airfield, including lights and internally illuminated signs; and installing pilot-controlled lighting to minimize energy use during the nighttime hours when airfield lighting is not being used (Table 10). The airport has even adopted some less common sustainability measures, including placing the engine block heater on the fuel truck on a timer to reduce electrical use. Manager Babione said that sustainability, even at the small airport he oversees, âmakes sense.â As he explained, âIf you donât spend more than you save, youâre good.â Although most of his efforts to reduce the airportâs environmental impact are motivated by cost control, with environmental sustainability an unplanned-for benefit, Babione encouraged other small airports to consider, as an item or piece of equipment reaches the end of its useful life, âIs there a more efficient replacement?â In other words, rather than embarking on a grand, and often expensive, sustainability program, as airport assets break down and need replacing, it is important for the airport manager to consider all options, especially those that are more efficient. It is hoped these measures will result in cost savings and possibly even environmental benefits. As Babione explained, âIt doesnât have to be thousands of dollars, but over time, it adds up.â Barriers, according to Babione, include funding and logistics. Sustainable initiatives can be costly, and if rebates or shared funds are unavailable, a proposed initiative may have to be tabled until later. Likewise, at small airports with few staff, personnel to implement such projects may not be available, or it may take longer to complete a project being done by in-house personnel. Babione also recommended that other small airports place an emphasis on hiring personnel who are skilled in multiple areas. For example, cost savings can be realized by using airport personnel to conduct on-site maintenance. Initiative Drivers Outcomes Metrics Barriers Lessons Learned Common sustainability measures Reduce costs Cost reduction and environmental benefits Electricity use Funds, logistics Use in-house personnel for projects. Fuel truck engine block heater on timer Reduce costs Cost reduction and environmental benefits Electricity use Minimal Consider periods of time when equipment (or lighting) is not needed. TABLE 10 EASTERN SIERRA REGIONAL AIRPORT
22 CASE EXAMPLE 6: LEED EQUIVALENCY College Park Airport, College Park, Maryland FAA General Aviation Energy Conservation; Water Conservation; Buildings/Facilities College Park Airport, located in College Park, Maryland, is recognized as the worldâs oldest continually operating airport. Established in 1909 as the military demonstration site for the Wright brothers, the airport is owned and operated by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC). Airport manager Lee Sommer has an eye on sustainability. The airportâs newest building, an airport operations building, is designed to LEED (Leadership in Energy & Envi- ronmental Design) Silver equivalency (Table 11). The LEED certification program was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Although the new building is designed to LEED Silver standards, the airport will not pursue LEED certification because of the expense and paperwork involved. The LEED certification process would have placed the project over budget. It is rare for a small airport to have a building designed to LEED standards. The building was funded by grants from the Maryland Aviation Administration and the MNCPPC. The building uses ultra-efficient HVAC, energy-efficient windows, energy-efficient lighting, sustain- able materials in building construction, trash and recycling receptacles for separation of materials, low-flow toilets and water fixtures, and a vegetative roof. The site was rebalanced to minimize the proximity to a flood plain. A filtration pond was created and lined with native grasses to allow storm water to recharge the groundwater aquifer. According to Sommer, the airport manager, and Derrick Adams, the architectural project manager for MNCPPC, they were motivated to design the new building to LEED Silver equivalency because of the historic site of the airport and the general awareness of the need for and focus on sustainability by the commission. As Adams stated, âWith so many building products now made sustainably and from renewable sources, you canât help but use them.â In other words, being sustainable is often easier than one might think. As Sommer shared, âNowadays, you have to do whatever you can.â Even so, both admit that costs are often a barrier to sustainable initiatives. Airports are encouraged to be on the lookout for rebates, grants, and shared funding for sustainable projects. These airport professionals also encourage airport managers to consider LED lighting, solar energy, permeable pavers, and smaller wind turbines. CASE EXAMPLE 7: POTENTIAL PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR FIELD Chautauqua County/Dunkirk Airport, Dunkirk, New York FAA General Aviation Energy Conservation/Renewable Energy The Chautauqua County/Dunkirk Airport, located in Dunkirk, New York, is owned and operated by Chautauqua County. Airport manager Bill Tucker explained that as the airport has searched for ways Initiative Drivers Outcomes Metrics Barriers Lessons Learned Airport Operations building designed to LEED Silver equivalency Focus on sustainability, ease in obtaining sustainable building materials Community goodwill, reduced operational costs, positive environmental impact Utility use, goodwill Funding, costs Do whatever you can, but be smart about it. TABLE 11 COLLEGE PARK AIRPORT
23 to be more sustainable, it became clear that installing a solar field was one way to accomplish the goal (Table 12). However, as of this writing, this project is still in the planning stages. Although there is a great deal of support for this airport and sustainability in the rural county in which the airport is located, the airport has a small, part-time staff. Thus, any sustainability initia- tive would need to place little to no demands on staff, once implemented. A solar field was seen as a viable option, especially considering the vacant land, community and county support of renewable energy, and low demands on staff once installed. A request for proposal was issued for this project; several proposals were received, and a firm was selected. The firm currently is assisting the airport staff in selecting several potential sites and developing a time line for the project. This is a no-cost project for the airport and county. Land for the photovoltaic (PV) panels will be leased at fair market value (to comply with grant assurances). The solar contractor will receive New York State Public Service Commission solar subsidies and be able to sell power generated to the local utility at a subsidized, profitable rate. The airport will then be able to benefit from a lower electricity rate from the utility as a result of the renewable energy being produced on airport property. Tucker explained that, as with most projects, barriers exist, but with innovative thinking they can be overcome. It is important to coordinate with FAA to ensure compliance with all grant assurances. In addition, municipality approval may be an obstacle in some areas. Many solar subsidies and vari- ous suitability rebates have restrictions that require close attention and coordination between the contractor and the entity providing subsidies. Especially for solar, the airport needs to insist that a glare analysis be performed to ensure the project, once complete, will not cause problems for pilots. CASE EXAMPLE 8: LED AIRFIELD LIGHTING Centennial Airport, Denver, Colorado FAA Reliever Energy Conservation Centennial Airport, located in Denver, Colorado, is owned and operated by the Arapahoe County Public Airport Authority. This airport, in an effort to reduce electricity usage and associated costs, increase the life of bulbs, reduce maintenance costs and pavement downtime, and benefit the envi- ronment, has transitioned all internally illuminated airfield signage from incandescent to LED and replaced all taxiway lighting with LED (Table 13). The airport is now in the process of transitioning runway lighting to LED. Although the airport also supports tenant sustainability initiatives and has transitioned to a more energy-efficient fleet of vehicles, the move toward LED lighting is the airportâs most significant sustainable project to date. Initiative Drivers Outcomes Metrics Barriers Lessons Learned Install solar (PV) field Lower utility costs, community goodwill, support the environment Project not yet complete Utility bills, energy produced Municipality approval; selection of solar contractor; public utility subsidies; meet FAA requirements, including grant assurances for use of airport land Coordinate early with FAA to ensure compliance with grant assurances; glare analysis is a necessity. TABLE 12 CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY/DUNKIRK AIRPORT
24 Assistant airport director Lori Hinton explained that the airport has worked closely with the FAA Airport District Office to include LED lighting in appropriate projects already in the Airport Capital Improvement Plan. Concern was expressed by FAA that LED lights on the airfield would need supplemental heater coils in Denverâs winter climate. However, Hinton was concerned that the electricity required to power the heater coils would negate any energy savings produced by the LED lights. Airport staff persuaded the FAA to allow a small test area of LED lights on the airfield without supplemental heater coils. The test revealed that the lights would perform well, even during winter conditions, without supplemental heater coils. The FAA agreed and allowed the airport to include the LED lighting in their grant application for two taxiway projects (Figure 8). Hinton explained that the LED lighting has produced such positive benefits in electricity usage that the airport has been able to remove an old regulator from the airfield electrical vault. As with the Initiative Drivers Outcomes Metrics Barriers Lessons Learned LED airfield lighting Reduce electricity usage and associated costs, increase the life of bulbs, lower maintenance costs and pavement downtime, and benefit the environment Lower electricity use, removal of regulator no longer needed, reduced maintenance hours Utility bills, personnel hours, pavement closure time Use of LED in cold area, persuading FAA to approve installation of LED without supplemental heaters Include learning that LED is significantly brighter than incandescent or quartz lamps. If part of airfield is LED and part is not, pilots will notice the difference, possibly to the point of confusion. TABLE 13 CENTENNIAL AIRPORT FIGURE 8 LED signage lighting retrofit (Source: L. Hinton 2015).
25 experiences of other airports undertaking sustainable projects, Centennial Airport was able to use in-house electricians to upgrade all of the internally illuminated airfield signs to LED, which reduced the overall cost of the project. Lessons learned, according to Hinton, include learning that LED is significantly brighter than incandescent or quartz lamps, and if part of the airfield is LED and part is not, pilots will notice the difference, possibly to the point of confusion. Her final encouragement to other small airports considering a transition to LED was âNot only is it good for the environment, but it is actually going to save the airport money.â CASE EXAMPLE 9: PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR FIELD Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, Lakeland, Florida FAA Reliever Energy Conservation/Renewable Energy The Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, located in and owned and operated by the city of Lakeland, Florida, is a reliever airport. In an effort to reduce utility costs, airport staff discussed the possibility of generating renewable energy on available airport property (Table 14). Through a publicâprivate partnership between the city of Lakeland and Sun Edison, the local utility company, the plan was for the airport to make 40 acres available for the solar field (Figure 9). Sun Edison would pay for the construction of the solar field, and the city of Lakeland would purchase the electricity for a long-term fixed rate over the next 25 years. In exchange for airport land, the airport would receive energy credits at a rate of $0.02/kWh. This agreement would generate nearly $250,000 annually for the airport with no cost associated with planning or construction. As part of the design of the solar field, the FAA required a glare analysis to ensure that the PV panels would not negatively affect pilot visibility with a reflective glare. The glare analysis showed that the PV panels would absorb nearly two-thirds of all light reaching the panels. Tech- nology has allowed the manufacture of PV panels with an antireflective coating, further reduc- ing any reflective glare from the panels. The actual glare to be produced by the panels would be similar to that produced by grassy vegetation. More than 18,000 solar panels were installed, creating the first on-airport solar field of this size in the FAA southern region. The solar field generates more than 9 million kWh of solar electricity per year. It also generates more than $250,000 in energy credits annually, nearly eliminating the airportâs electricity costs. Lessons learned, shared by Brett Fay, operations supervisor, and Gene Conrad, airport director, include: â¢ Even when a project is inherently environmentally friendly, there can be unintended environmental impacts associated with the construction. â¢ Publicâprivate partnerships can make large-scale sustainable projects affordable. Initiative Drivers Outcomes Metrics Barriers Lessons Learned Solar field Reduce utility costs, utilize airport land Reduced electricity costs Utility costs Environmental concerns, glare potential, funding Beneficial publicâprivate partnerships; renewable energy can substantially improve bottom line. TABLE 14 LAKELAND LINDER REGIONAL AIRPORT
26 â¢ Consider airport land that may not be beneficial for aviation use but could be used for renewable energy projects. CASE EXAMPLE 10: PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR FIELD AND ROTATING BEACON Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport, Smyrna, Tennessee FAA Reliever Energy Conservation/Renewable Energy; Land/Property Use; Operational Efficiency The Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport, located 12 nautical mi south of Nashville Inter- national Airport is an FAA-designated reliever airport located on more than 1,700 acres, some of which is designated as nonaviation use (Table 15). Several years ago, airport staff Initiative Drivers Outcomes Metrics Barriers Lessons Learned PV solar field Use of nonaviation land and revenue generation Land lease revenue, environmental benefits Land lease revenue Coordination between solar contractor and utilities Be open to sustainable opportunities. Rotating beacon New location for rotating beacon New rotating beacon tower, land lease revenue Land lease revenue None Think outside the box. TABLE 15 SMYRNA/RUTHERFORD COUNTY AIRPORT FIGURE 9 Lakeland Linder Regional Airport PV solar field (Source: B. Fay 2014).
27 were approached by a solar contractor in search of land to build a solar field. This field would be partially funded by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Generation Partners program, and the airport would incur no costs. Realizing that revenue could be generated through a ground lease for land utilized for the PV panels, the airport decided to pursue this partnership (Figure 10). The 1,000-kW system now generates a significant amount of renewable energy that is placed back into the grid of the Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation. The solar contractor main- tains the system, with access required two to three times annually for system maintenance. Thus, the PV field cost the airport nothing to install and costs the facility nothing to maintain. In addition, it generates revenue for the airport through the land lease. As airport manager Lois Vallance explained, âThis land was doing nothing but growing trees, and it made sense to generate revenues, while also providing environmental benefits.â In addition to the PV field, the airportâs rotating beacon had been mounted atop a water tank owned by the city. Because the water tank was aging, the beacon needed to come down. As airport staff searched for a new location for the rotating beacon, they were approached by a cell phone opera- tor looking for a new place to install a cell phone tower. Staff asked if the cell phone tower could house the airportâs rotating beacon on top, and the answer was affirmative. Thus, the airport entered into a land lease with the cell phone tower operator, allowing the firm to install a 170-ft cell phone tower on airport property with the airportâs rotating beacon atop (Figure 11). The airport is allowed to maintain the beacon, but electricity is supplied through the cell phone tower by the cell phone operator. After 7 years into a 20-year land lease, the cell phone tower operator paid the airport a lump sum to buy out the land lease. Vallance explained, âThis was the easiest thing in the world to do. We now have a new tower for our rotating beacon that did not cost the airport a single cent. And it has generated revenues for the airport.â Vallance reported no barriers with these projects: they were barrier-free and benefit-rich. To be fair, the projects were not pursued by airport staff; rather, the airport served as an attractive location for each project, and staff were pleased to act on these sustainable opportunities. FIGURE 10 Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport PV solar field (Source: D. Prather 2016).
28 CASE EXAMPLE 11: RECLAIMED WATER Livermore Municipal Airport, Livermore, California FAA Reliever Water Quality Protection and Water Conservation; Land and Natural Resources Management Another airport located in the drought-stricken state of California, the Livermore Municipal Airport, which is owned and operated by the city of Livermore, is located next to a water treatment plant that produces thousands of gallons of treated water monthly (Table 16). Although this water may FIGURE 11 Rotating beacon atop cell phone tower (Source: J. Black 2015). Initiative Drivers Outcomes Metrics Barriers Lessons Learned Reclaimed water Close proximity to water treatment plant, which makes reclaimed water available to the airport; drought Less water use; reclaimed water use is seen as having less of an environmental impact Utility bills, goodwill Reclaimed water restrictions Think outside the box; consider how to reduce water use; consider how to use reclaimed water; encourage thinking on sustainability. TABLE 16 LIVERMORE MUNICIPAL AIRPORT
29 not be used to water food crops, it can be used to irrigate airport land, including more than 100 acres of adjoining golf course owned by the city. Because of water pressure requirements, the reclaimed water is effectively provided in only a 2- to 3-mi radius from the treatment plant. The airport is in prime location to benefit (Figure 12). Airport landscaping, where not removed in favor of desert scape, uses reclaimed water. Trees need only minimal water once they are established and provide much-needed shade, so consideration is suggested before removing trees to minimize water use. Even fire hydrants on airport property use reclaimed water. The adjoining Las Positas Golf Course is also irrigated with reclaimed water. The golf course website states, âWhile doing our part to cut back on water usage, we are using recycled water during the drought to help keep the course green AND help the environmentâ (Las Positas n.d., para. 5). Airport manager Leander Hauri explained that there were no real barriers in implementing the use of reclaimed water at the airport. The change was not sought by airport staff so much as it became available by virtue of the water treatment plant being built adjacent to the airport. The airport sim- ply was in the right place and capitalized on the opportunity to use reclaimed water. The airport is billed a meter charge of $40,000 annually, which pays for all reclaimed water used. Hauri also encouraged other airports to consider how landscaping that requires little water may replace thirsty grass and shrubs. He explained, âLow-waterâuse plants actually enhance the aesthetics and benefit the airport.â He said all airports âneed to encourage thought on sustainability and be willing to think outside the box.â FIGURE 12 Livermore Airport reclaimed water irrigation (Source: L. Hauri 2015).
30 CASE EXAMPLE 12: SENSITIVE ENVIRONMENT Ocean County Airport, Toms River, New Jersey FAA General Aviation Land and Natural Resources Management; Land/Property Use Ocean County Airport, located in Toms River, New Jersey, is owned and operated by Ocean County. The airport is uniquely located within the Pinelands National Reserve, a 1.1-millionâacre environ- mentally protected region established by Congress through the passage of the National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978. The Pinelands National Reserve is the first national reserve in the nation. The airport was built in the 1960s. Roughly two-thirds of the airportâs 822 acres are within a Preser- vation Area District that has stringent environmental controls; the remainder of the airport is located within a Forest Area District, which is the second-most strictly regulated environment. As a result, airport staff must exert special effort to ensure the facility is environmentally sensitive in all it does, including day-to-day operations and capital improvements (Table 17). This requirement is similar to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. In 2012, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Pinelands Commission and Ocean County restricted all future land use and development to the extent proposed in the airportâs original master plan from the 1960s. All other areas of the airport are not to be disturbed. Because of these restrictions, when a new 3,599-ft crosswind runway (part of the 1960s Master Plan) was proposed, the approval process before ground could be disturbed took 5 years. In addi- tion, once the project was approved, there were significant environmental constraints. Because the Pinelands National Reserve is home to âdozens of rare plant and animal species, as well as the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system, which contains an estimated 17 trillion gallons of water,â careful planning was required by airport staff regarding the project (âThe Pinelands National Reserveâ 2015, para. 3). First, the airport had to consider the sickle-leaved golden aster, a sensitive plant species with slender, curved, sickle-like leaves and a yellow flower. Because of the amount of plants that would be destroyed in the process of constructing the new runway, the airport was required to perform a relocation project. An environmental consultant was employed to transplant these plants to parts of the airport that would not be disturbed in the future. The project enjoyed an 80% transplant success rate. Second, the airport had to consider the snakes of the Pine Barrens, approximately 20 species of snakes that inhabit the Pinelands. Because of the extensive ground disturbances and number of snake dens that would be destroyed in the process of excavation and construction, the airport was required to build snake dens to replace the lost habitat (Figures 13 and 14). The New Jersey Pinelands Com- mission oversaw these restoration projects. Initiative Drivers Outcomes Metrics Barriers Lessons Learned Plant/animal accommodation Pineland Commission requirement Sickle leaf golden aster transplanted, snake dens constructed Transplant success rate; new snake dens occupied Expense of transplanting and building snake dens; environmental approvals; environmental restrictions Know who significant stakeholders are, open communication. Trees in approach surface Obstruction clearing Obstructions removed, with little ground disturbance Obstructions in approach surface Expense of pruning tree crowns rather than clear cutting where trees can be used Know who significant stakeholders are, open communication. TABLE 17 OCEAN COUNTY AIRPORT
31 In addition to these environmental restoration projects, the airport was prohibited from creat- ing ground disturbances that are not reflected in the airport layout plan (ALP). As trees grew in height, the result was potential obstructions in the runway protection zone and approach surfaces. The removal of such trees was prohibited, so airport staff had to think creatively about how to solve the dilemma while producing the least environmental impact. As a result, trees were topped (pruned) at an angle so as to stay below any surfaces or zones that needed protection. This tree crown reduc- tion minimized wildlife disturbance and achieved airport safety goals. According to Steve Simmone, senior planner, the prohibition on ground disturbance for any proj- ect not reflected in the original ALP requires the airport to adopt an innovative mind-set with regard to sustainability. To some degree, every project the airport carries out is done only after the environ- mental impact is considered. At the same time, there are some environmentally sustainable initiatives that will not be possible at Ocean County Airport, such as the installation of solar fields, because of the extensive ground disturbance that would be required. However, the airport has installed low-flow toilets to reduce water use, solar tubes to bring natural light to interior spaces and minimize interior FIGURE 13 Newly created snake den (Source: Ocean County Airport 2015). FIGURE 14 Thermal window shades (Source: Ocean County Airport 2015).
32 electricity use, and thermal window shades to minimize heat loss during winter and heat gain during summer, which minimizes HVAC demands and subsequently lowers utility use. According to Simmone, the location of the airport in an environmentally protected National Reserve affects programmatic decisions most significantly. For instance, he said, âWe have an even more heightened focus on sustainability, including small initiatives such as recycling, than we might if not located in this environmentally sensitive area.â By working with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Soil Conservation District, airport staff continually monitor the facilityâs storm water pollution prevention plan, underground storage tanks (fuel and septic), and seeding and landscaping to avoid attracting invasive plant and animal species. Simmone said other small airports should know and understand their significant stakeholders and partners and keep communication lines open. In addition, according to Simmone, âIf an area doesnât need to be disturbed, donât disturb it.â In other words, he encouraged airport managers to tread lightly on the environment. CASE EXAMPLE 13: HONEYBEES Jackson County Airport, Gainesboro, Tennessee FAA General Aviation Land and Natural Resources Management The Jackson County Airport is located in Gainesboro, Tennessee, and is owned and operated by Jackson County, which has a population of approximately 11,000. This single-runway airport is adjacent to the Cumberland River, in a rural area, on land leased from the Army Corps of Engineers. The staff of this low-use airport initially indicated they had not pursued any environmental initia- tives. When they were queried further, it became clear the airport has pursued a rather innovative, environmentally sustainable initiative (Table 18). Airport manager Jim Young noticed that although the airport property had 100 acres of clover, mostly in a river bottom area, there were no honeybees, insects that play a significant role in pollina- tion. Young, who was aware of the decline in the honeybee population caused primarily by colony collapse disorder, decided that airport land possibly could play a role in sustaining the honeybee population in Jackson County. First, Young contacted the Army Corps of Engineers about developing a honeybee colony on airport land, but the group was not interested in such a project. Young then con- tacted the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and encountered enthusiastic support. With the help of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Young again talked with the Army Corps of Engineers, who approved of the concept but stipulated that honey could not be sold for profit. This stipulation was fine with Young, whose primary goal for the project was to increase the honeybee population. The colony cost approximately $500 to establish (hive and bees), and with a ready source of water (Cumberland River), the colony was set up in a remote location on airport property. Young said that his Initiative Drivers Outcomes Metrics Barriers Lessons Learned Honeybee colony Vacant airport land with clover; awareness of honeybee colony collapse disorder causing honeybee decline Newly established honeybee colony on airport land Success of original colony and any new colonies established by bees Approvals by landowner; remote area to prevent tampering with hive Be innovative in approach to sustainability; high-cost projects are not the only option. TABLE 18 JACKSON COUNTY AIRPORT
33 being married to a beekeeper made the establishment of the bee colony easier, but he encourages all airports with a remote land area and available course of water to consider such an initiative and contact a local beekeeper for advice. Once established, maintenance of the colony is low, with regular visits to the hive by a beekeeper required simply to check on the health of the hive and ascertain that enough honey (40â60 lb) has been stored by the bees for feeding during the winter (Figures 15 and 16). CASE EXAMPLE 14: RECYCLING San Bernardino International Airport, San Bernardino, California FAA Reliever Materials Use and Solid Waste Reduction/Recycling The San Bernardino International Airport, which is classified by the FAA as a reliever airport, is located in southern California on approximately 1,800 acres of land. Although this airport has pur- sued a number of sustainable initiatives, this case example focuses on the airportâs recycling efforts FIGURE 15 Frame of capped brood ready to hatch at Jackson County Airport (Source: J. Young 2015). FIGURE 16 Jackson County Airport beehive (Source: J. Young 2015).
34 (Table 19). First, during past runway and taxiway rehabilitation and repaving, the airport retained removed concrete, crushed it, and stored it on airport property to use as base for other projects (Fig- ures 17 and 18). Airport manager Liliana Valle says the crushed concrete also can be sold if not needed by the airport. Second, the airport owns and operates the fixed-base operations (FBO), including the FBO fuel farm. Fuel is sumped daily for quality checks; if the removed fuel is not contaminated, it is placed in a vessel for additional filtering and ultimately returned to fuel storage (Figure 19). Third, with a good deal of heavy aircraft maintenance being performed on the field by various ten- ants, a request to defuel occurs regularly. In the instances when an aircraft operator does not want Initiative Drivers Outcomes Metrics Barriers Lessons Learned Recycling Benefit the environment and remove waste from airport Waste removed; environmental benefits; some revenue generated Costs Coordination; state compliance Piggyback on existing municipal programs/resources. TABLE 19 SAN BERNARDINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FIGURE 17 Stockpiled pavement for future crushing (Source: L. Valle 2015). FIGURE 18 Crushed material (Source: L. Valle 2015).
35 the fuel returned to the aircraft, the airport has the ability to have the fuel recertified for future use. This recertification requires sending a sample of the fuel to the analytical laboratory that tests fuel, a process that may take 1 to 2 weeks. Fourth, the airport regularly recycles hazardous waste, including used motor oil. Through competitive quotes received through a solicitation for recycling services, the airport has entered into a contract with a local hazardous waste recovery company to remove and properly recycle or dispose of hazardous water generated at the airport, including waste generated by airport tenants. Depending on the waste, the company may remove it free of charge or for a mini- mal fee. The airport may even generate some revenue from the waste removal process. In addition, airport-generated waste, such as large appliances, can be sold to a recycling company. When asked to share words of wisdom with other small airports, Valle stated, âMost small airports are part of a city or county that has resources that may be made available to the airport. Most small airports could âpiggybackâ on these existing programs.â FIGURE 19 Sump recovery tank (Source: L. Valle 2015).