(July 24, 2013) - Alternative fuels, reclaimed water, electric car charging stations and in-flight recycling. These are just a few of the sustainability programs Tampa International Airport and its partners have in place already.
But is there more can we do? That’s the question that will be answered in the first phase of our Sustainability Master Plan, which aims to make our airport a cleaner, more efficient, environmentally friendly and financially responsible facility for generations to come.
“We’re fortunate to be located in a place that attracts people from around the world to enjoy our natural environment,” CEO Joe Lopano said. “We want to do all we can to protect that resource.”
The airport is now gathering ideas from its partners and the community by holding meetings next week, using high tech voting devices to conduct live polling during the sessions. A public visioning session for the Tampa Bay area community will be held next Tuesday, July 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Hillsborough Community College. On Wednesday, July 31, Tampa International Airport tenants are invited to come to a similar session in the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority boardroom from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Later in the afternoon, an HCAA staff working group will gather for another session.
The sustainability efforts are funded by a $608,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, with the airport contributing $200,000 to supplement the program. The timing was perfect for TPA, which recently finished its Master Plan and can integrate the sustainability measures into its growth and development.
Tampa International is one of 25 airports selected by the Federal Aviation Administration to participate in its sustainability pilot program, which began in 2010 with two smaller airports (Ithaca-Tompkins Regional in New York and Northeast Florida Regional). Other airports participating in the pilot program include Logan International in Boston, Seattle-Tacoma International and Salt Lake City International. Ultimately, the success of the airports’ creation and implementation of sustainable master plans will help shape the FAA’s final sustainability planning guidance to other airports around the country.
Tampa International is no stranger to sustainable initiatives, and has made a number of green-friendly changes over the past several years. Almost 40 percent of the airport’s vehicle fleet now runs on alternative fuels, and it has two electric vehicle charging stations and one compressed natural gas station onsite for public use. It has also reduced its water consumption by installing low-flow fixtures and sensors in more than 80 percent of the restrooms, recycling the water from the rental car and fleet wash areas, and recovering and reusing the condensation from our air handlers. TPA is one of few airports nationwide that enable in-flight recycling for its airlines.
To RSVP for the public visioning session by Friday, July 26, send an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and type “Sustainability” in the subject line.