Denver International Airport awarded federal grant to reduce emissions and improve air quality

Environmental Climate solutions

Denver - Denver International Airport has been awarded a $442,500 grant by the Federal Aviation Administration to reduce emissions and improve air quality at the airport through the FAA’s Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) program.

The grant was announced today by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

According to the FAA, the VALE program is designed to reduce all sources of airport ground emissions in areas of marginal air quality. The FAA implemented the program in 2005 to help airport sponsors meet their air quality responsibilities under the Clean Air Act. Through VALE, airport sponsors can use Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds and passenger facility charges to acquire low-emission vehicles, refueling and recharging stations, gate electrification, and other airport-related air quality improvements.

At DIA, the grant will be used to purchase pre-conditioned air (PCA) handlers that allow aircraft to shut off their auxiliary power units while parked at the gate and connect to a cleaner central heating and cooling system, saving the airline fuel and improving air quality by reducing emissions. This project also will improve air quality in the ramp and gate areas. DIA already uses PCA technology, and will use the grant funds to add PCA equipment to the five new gates currently under construction at the west end of the C Concourse. Southwest Airlines plans to relocate their existing gates on the A Concourse to the C Concourse where the majority of their flights are currently located. Construction of the new gate area is expected to be completed in November.

Over the expected 13-year life of the systems, DIA expects the new equipment to prevent more than 92 tons of carbon monoxide emissions from entering the air, in addition to more than 134 tons of pollutants that cause ozone pollution.

“DIA continues to be a leader in environmental sustainability, and this grant will help acquire equipment that will reduce power consumption, save our airline partners fuel and money, and help to reduce the airport's carbon footprint,” said airport CEO Kim Day. “I would like to thank Secretary Foxx for making our environment a priority and for allocating these funds, which help us maintain our longstanding legacy of environmental stewardship and operational excellence.”

Read the FAA’s press release here.