Federal Aviation Administration funds natural gas shuttles

August 12, 2014. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a $330,000 grant to Portland International Airport to buy six natural gas buses for passenger and employee transportation to parking and rental car lots through the FAA’s Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) program. This project is part of the airport’s program to minimize vehicle emissions within the airport footprint.

   VALE is designed to reduce sources of airport ground emissions in marginal air quality areas. The FAA started the program in 2005 to help airports meet their air quality responsibilities under the Clean Air Act. Through VALE, airports 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.

   “This project will allow the airport to realize immediate emission-reduction benefits for the airport and surrounding communities,” FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta said.

   Department of Transportation (DOT) claims that through VALE, airports have reduced ozone emissions by approximately 466 tons per year, which is equivalent to removing 26,000 cars and trucks from the road annually. Since 2005, the FAA has funded 67 VALE projects at 34 airports, which represents a total investment of $167 million in clean airport technology. That amount includes $133 million in federal grants and $34 million in local airport matching funds.