In honor of Earth Day this April 22, the Pittsburgh International Airport is sharing sustainability and recycling awareness information with travelers on Friday, April 20.
Following a 2010 energy audit of the airport, the Allegheny County Airport Authority developed an energy savings plan, with implementation underway. It includes more energy efficient lighting, escalator motors that automatically power down when not in use, upgrades to electric doors on the baggage-handling areas and a new employee parking location that eliminated the need for shuttle buses.
“The Airport Authority is dedicated to sustainable initiatives, resulting in a great reduction in environmental impacts while also enhancing efficiencies at Pittsburgh International Airport,” said authority Chairman David Minnotte.
More specifics on the airport authority’s energy savings plan:
Brighter and Greener Lighting – Pittsburgh International Airport installed new LED lighting in the parking garage. The three-story garage has 2,100 parking spaces and also houses the rental car agencies on its first floor. These lights are brighter than previous and use 73 percent less energy, a 2.16 million kilowatt-per-hour (kWh) savings annually.
Conditional Power for Escalators — Digital power conditioners have been installed on moving escalators, which regulates the amount of power supplied to the motor based on the load — power supply is increased and decreased based on the amount of people on the escalator. These power conditioners are expected to save 137,160 kWh each year.
Quicker Closing Doors and HVAC Control Upgrades — An opportunity for significant energy savings presented itself when analyzing the frequent trips of airline-operated baggage carts driving in and out of the buildings. High-speed overhead doors and baggage-handling HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) control upgrades were installed at the airside and landside terminals. A total of 22 doors were installed, which automatically open and close as vehicles enter and leave the terminals.
In addition, the HVAC system has been integrated with the high-speed doors to optimize energy efficiency by regulating the operation of heaters in the vicinity of the doors when they are in the open position during the heating season. Also, the overhead doors automatically open when the temperature reaches 60 degrees to reduce the door operating cost. This project resulted in an estimated savings of 1.8 million kWh annually.
Eliminating Employee Shuttle Buses — The employee parking lot was relocated to the former E gates adjacent to the Landside Terminal eliminating the need to bus employees back and forth to parking. The measure saves fuel, minimizes emissions and adds convenience for employees. The environmental impact is significant. The employee buses averaged 400 hours of busing per week and burned an average of 2,550 gallons of diesel fuel per month.
Other planned improvements include airside and landside terminal lighting upgrades, runway and centerline light upgrades, and HVAC control upgrades. When the energy savings project is complete, the airport authority expects to save 19.3 million kWh annually.