Airport Environmental Initiatives

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Various Port Authority facilities have various purposes, needs and functions. For instance, an airport uses energy differently than a bridge. That's why we have developed departmental initiatives that address the unique characteristics of our facilities. 

Consumer Recycling

A variety of recycling activities are already in place at Port Authority airports.  The Port Authority recycles over 500 tons of cardboard, more than 40 tons of cans, bottles and glass, more than 130 tons of mixed paper, and almost 7,000 tons of construction debris each year.  We are building on these efforts by establishing a comprehensive recycling policy and program for all of our airports.  A major part of the program is the establishment or improvement of public area recycling in the passenger terminals.

Delay Reduction Measures

Reducing aircraft delays helps to reduce the amount of fuel that aircraft use, and that results in reduced greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions. We are pursuing a variety of measures that will improve on-time performance, including a Ground Based Augmentation System (GPS navigation) at Newark Liberty, an Aerobahn ground surveillance system at JFK, and taxiway modifications and additions at JFK.  We are also supporting implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), which will lead to more efficient operations and improvements to environmental performance. 

LED Airfield Lighting

We have installed or are in the process of installing energy-efficient LED taxiway and holdbar lights at JFK, Newark Liberty, and Stewart International Airport. We will be testing the feasibility of these mixed lighting systems at our airports to conserve energy.

Airport Noise Programs

The Port Authority has worked for many years to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on the residential areas around its airports.  Noise reduction measures include a noise limit on aircraft takeoffs; the use of preferential runway systems; approach and departure procedures that reduce overflights of residential areas; a voluntary ban on Stage II aircraft operations at Teterboro Airport; a voluntary overnight curfew on aircraft operations at Teterboro and LaGuardia Airports; the overnight closure of LaGuardia Airport during the summer; and ground runup restrictions.  The Port Authority also operates an Aircraft Noise Abatement Monitoring System to monitor airline compliance with noise abatement procedures.  As a result of these programs, coupled with the required use of quieter Stage III/IV aircraft, the number of people living in FAA-defined noise affected areas near the airports has decreased by more than 90 percent.

The Port Authority works closely with communities and elected officials throughout the region with regard to aircraft noise and other airport issues.  The Port Authority has also implemented a school-soundproofing program, under which 53 schools in New York and New Jersey have been soundproofed to date.  In addition, soundproofing is under way or under design review for 25 schools.  Soundproofing has reduced aircraft noise levels by at least 50 percent in the classroom.

Facility Improvement Measures at JFK

In 2008, we completed energy efficiency work at several buildings at JFK. Facility improvements included: installation of energy efficient lighting controls, installation of infrared heaters and controls, decommissioning of vacant buildings, and decommissioning of a high-pressure steam plant.

Infrared Deicing at JFK

We have installed an infrared deicing facility at JFK.  The facility is sized to deice a Boeing 747-400 aircraft.  De-icing with the infrared system reduces the amount of deicing fluids used by 90 percent per aircraft.

Energy Efficiency at Newark Liberty

We have taken a number of improvements to energy efficiency. The airport has installed meters to monitor peak loads; conducted a specialized review of Terminal B to ensure that its energy system is operating as it should; re-wired circuits to allow lighting to be shut off when it is not needed; and modified its operational practices to conserve energy. 

Solar Photovoltaic Installation

We have evaluated facilities and structures at Newark Liberty International Airport to identify those with the greatest potential for solar photovoltaic panels. We are also exploring the installation of a 700-kilowatt solar array and are currently developing the specifications for the system with the intent to engage developers for system implementation

Stewart Airport

Aircraft Gate Power Project at Stewart

Stewart International Airport received a grant under the FAA's Voluntary Airport Low Emissions (VALE) program to install electric power and preconditioned air at the airport's seven gates.  This project will allow aircraft at the gate to use airport power and air instead of running their auxiliary power units (APUs), which run on jet fuel and create greenhouse gases and other air pollutant emissions.  These improvements could reduce air pollutant emissions by about 96 tons over the life of the project.  The New York Power Authority is also a funding partner for this project.

Stewart International Airport's Sustainability Plan

Stewart International Airport has developed a comprehensive sustainability plan. The plan includes goals, objectives and strategies to help the airport operate sustainably and minimize its impact on the environment. Over the long term, the plan will also help guide operational and planning decisions to turn Stewart into a carbon-neutral facility.

Click here to view the Sustainability Plan


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