(August 5, 2015) - The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority’s newly-developed sustainable management plan received top environmental honors for commercial airports in Florida last week from the Florida Airports Council.
The plan – known as Legacy of Environmental Actions for our Future, or LEAF – earned the J. Bryan Cooper Environmental Award, which recognizes airport environmental projects and programs that positively affect the Florida aviation system.
The Authority’s sustainability management plan is a commitment to the triple bottom line of people, planet and prosperity. The plan establishes 36 initiatives that range from strengthening community partnerships to diverting more waste from landfills and reducing energy consumption.
“LEAF will help us weave sustainability throughout our organization and vocalize that message to our community and the traveling public,” said Melissa Solberg, HCAA’s Sustainability Manager in the award application.
Sustainability is an important feature of the airport’s $953 million expansion and other capital improvement projects. Both the main terminal and new rental car center will be more energy efficient than code, using high-efficiency glass, lighting and other energy efficient products. The airport’s contractors are also dedicated to sustainability during construction. To date, the Taxiway J Bridge project has recycled 343 tons of asphalt and 1,300 tons of concrete.
Here’s a look at some of the Airport’s other efforts:
- Tampa International recently installed a dozen new electric vehicle charging stations, making it possible for passengers to charge vehicles in each of the parking garages.
- In July, crews began construction on a 2 Megawatt installation of solar panels on the top of the south economy parking garage. A collaboration with Tampa Electric, the array will send enough energy to the electric grid to power 250 residential homes – or about the same amount of energy as will be used by Tampa International’s new 1.4-mile automated people mover.
- Over the last five years, the airport’s terminal recycling program has diverted an average of over 1,100 tons of solid waste per year from landfill disposal.
- TPA is one of the few airports nationwide that enables in-flight recycling for our airlines.
- Since the airport’s compressed natural gas station opened in 2013, the airport has saved over 450,000 gallons of gasoline. The airport currently operates 49 alternative fuel vehicles, including compressed natural gas shuttles and buses and hybrid and electric fleet vehicles.
- The airport’s reclaimed water system went in service in 2009, saving over 294 million gallons of potable water.
- Tampa International Airport recently installed 25,000 yards of eco-friendly carpet. Made from 44 percent recycled content, the carpet diverted 144,213 pounds of waste from the landfill.