FAA investing millions in US airports’ sustainable infrastructure

The FAA is investing in solar panels and electric buses at numerous US airports
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The United States (US) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted several dozen million dollars to 21 airports to build various zero-emissions infrastructure projects. 

According to the FAA’s announcement, 21 airports will receive $92 million for “solar panels, electric buses, charging stations and electrification studies; investments that support good-paying jobs and their local communities”. In total, there will be nearly $268 million worth of grants, with the FAA also supporting funding for general aviation airports to “safely transition to unleaded fuel for piston-engine aircraft”. 

Overall, the goal is to help the US reach its net-zero emissions target by 2050. As part of the Aviation Climate Action Plan, the FAA has awarded $100 million to research and scale fuel-saving technologies as well as noise reductions. It has also awarded $327 million to electrify airport gate and ground equipment and vehicles, and $35 million for universities to research and build sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply chains and new software solutions to reduce fuel burn and taxi time for aircraft. 

“We need to help airports transition their operations as quickly as possible to renewable power. Our investments keeps us on track for the net-zero goal,” said Shannetta R. Griffin, the Associate Administrator for Airports at the FAA. 

Of the $92 million, $46.8 million will contribute towards the installation of solar panels and related infrastructure at seven international airports including Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and Indianapolis International Airport (IND), plus other regional and municipal airports.  

Meanwhile, the FAA has awarded an additional $44.5 million to 13 airports “to plan for and purchase electric vehicles and electric transportation infrastructure”. Lastly, Prescott Regional Airport (PRC), Arizona, the US, has received $243,000 to begin the airport’s transition towards unleaded fuel being used in piston-engine aircraft. 

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