By switching 165 fleet vehicles to natural gas, Denver International Airport (DIA) in Colorado has prevented the equivalent of 3,347,600 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere in 2013, according to the agency.
The airport has reached a “sweet spot,” having converted the right number of vehicles where it can get environmental benefits and return on investment, said Jeffrey Booton, director of fleet management. The airport recently received the 2014 Natural Gas Vehicle Achievement Award for advancing the use of natural gas in its vehicle fleet.
The airport requires the use of natural gas or electric vehicles in its underground baggage tunnels to protect air quality for airline and airport employees. The airport’s fleet management division provides CNG testing services to about 475 vehicles operated by tenant airlines, consisting of CNG system inspection, tank validation, and emissions testing.
The airport fleet includes approximately 1,750 different vehicles and equipment ranging from large snow removal vehicles, aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicles, forklifts, cranes, and light-duty vehicles to smaller equipment such as concrete saws. Approximately 29% of the airport’s fleet is powered with alternative fuels, such as compressed natural gas (CNG). The airport’s 165 CNG assets include buses, sedans, light-duty trucks, lawn mowers, generators, air compressors, forklifts, sweepers/scrubbers, and asphalt patching equipment.
The airport has six CNG fueling stations, five of which are used by airlines, vendors, and the public, with one being used for the airport fleet, Booton said.
In December 2013, the airport was one of 29 large fleet owners that committed to accelerating deployment of natural gas vehicles and fueling infrastructure in Colorado by signing a memorandum of understanding during the Colorado Governor’s Natural Gas Vehicle Summit.
The Natural Gas Vehicle Achievement Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of natural gas as a vehicular fuel, was presented to the airport on Nov. 12 by representatives from the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation and Natural Gas Vehicles for America. NGVA presented 13 achievement awards.