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February 2, 2017
The 2017 Clean Air Award was presented to Spokane International Airport at an awards ceremony today at the Davenport Hotel.
The award is presented annually by Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency to a local company that has demonstrated innovation, commitment and leadership to reduce their environmental impacts, particularly in air quality.
Pictured is Matt Breen, Director of Engineering and Planning and Ken Landrus, Terminal Maintenance Superintendent (center) both with Spokane International Airport; and April Westby, Engineer at Spokane Clean Air who presented the award.
Spokane International Airport is jointly owned by the City and County of Spokane. It is a 6,100-acre commercial service airport served by five airlines and two air cargo carriers. Last year, the airport processed over 3.2 million passengers and over 67,000 tons of cargo. They employ over 3,000 people and have an annual economic impact of $750 million dollars on the Spokane Region.
Passengers and ground crew at the airport are breathing cleaner air since they cut the use of conventional jet fuel to power aircraft idling at the gates between flights. Idling is necessary to maintain comfortable cabin air. Aircraft waiting at the gates were previously powered with Auxiliary Power Units, which operate on jet fuel. A typical onboard aircraft Auxiliary Power Unit consumes 54 gallons of jet fuel per hour.
With the help of a $2.5 million dollar federal grant, the Auxiliary Power Units were replaced with Pre-Conditioned Air Units. These units provide cleaner heating and cooling because they are powered by electricity instead of jet fuel.
Pre-Conditioned Air Units (depicted in picture on left) provide interior climate control between take-offs and landings so that the jet doesn’t have to idle and emit excessive emissions. The Airport already had three of these units and the grant helped purchase 11 more so that all passenger boarding bridges are equipped.
Grant funds also provided for the purchase and installation of 4 Ground Power Units at FedEx and UPS cargo terminals. The cargo planes now hook up to electric power instead of jet-fueled Auxiliary Power Units.
The air quality benefits are significant. Most of the pollutants reduced are those that contribute to ground-level ozone pollution. In fact, over the life of the equipment, air pollutants will be reduced by an estimated 390 tons—equivalent to removing 2,500 vehicles from the roads.
Additionally, the airport has been upgrading to LED lighting throughout their facility, and replacing inefficient, outdated elevator equipment with new, highly-efficient equipment in three elevators serving the parking garage.
Congratulations to everyone at Spokane International Airport!