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Greenest Airports in the US and Their Energy Efficient Terminals

written by: ciel s cantoria•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 11/28/2010

Know the greenest airports in the US; & how they've gained grounds in providing energy efficient terminals through their green initiatives. Read about the 3 best US airports & their commitments to reduce their environmental impact, in order to provide efficient terminal services to their passengers.

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    America's Top Three Greenest Airports:

    120px-Malaga Airport More than ten years ago, the concept of green airports, was introduced by a non-profit corporation, called the Clean Airport Partnership (CAP). The company envisioned the greening of U.S. airport terminal and back then, this seemed like an overly ambitious concept. Today, three of the greenest airports, not only aid in improving air quality but are operating favorably as well, by reducing costs through energy efficiency.

    Here’s a look at America's Top Three Greenest Airports:

    Denver International Airport

    Green travelers are finding it more convenient to find themselves getting their flights or arriving at Denver International Airport (DIA) despite more than 51million passengers being served annually This airport has high efficiency marks of almost 75% in terms of on-time green arrivals and departures. In addition, it has been conferred the title: "America's Best Run Airport".

    Part of the airport’s arrival efficiency may be attributed to this green airport’s acres of solar panels that provide green electricity running half of the airport's system. The airport’s resources are maximized for airport communications, maintenance, and passenger safety. In fact, this US airport's LEEDS certification is rated as gold-level with high potentials for platinum-level.

    DIA's parking facility, which is now known as Canopy Airport Parking, was recently opened just in time for the holiday season. Solar and wind turbine power generators are being utilized to operate this parking facility as it provides 4,200 parking slots. LED lightings as well as geothermal heating and cooling systems make up the state-of-the art parking garage while shuttle buses are fueled by biofuels while ferrying-off passengers to and from the terminals.

    As the green airport’s environmental contribution, carbon emission reduction achieved is said to be equivalent to 225,000 gallons of gasoline, or the amount of gasoline it takes to fuel 500 cars for a year. Moreover, runways and taxiways are equipped with recycling systems intended as catch basins for about 70% of chemical run-offs for deicing aircrafts.

    Dallas, Fort Worth International

    DFW was awarded with the Star of Energy Efficiency by the Alliance to Save it continues to improve with its green initiatives. Its management is now focused on the smart use of electricity, in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star.

    This air terminal earns a high green score, for its "green fleet", hence improving air quality for travelers in the area. As a green airport, it operates 540 hybrid land vehicles for its operations, which include lawnmowers and green airport shuttle busses. They all run on compressed natural gas. It also ranks high in the availability of healthy food choices.

    Logan International (Boston)

    This airport operates green airport shuttle busses that run on compressed natural gas. Hence, passengers taking their flight or arriving here will have improved air quality while traversing airport grounds. The operation of the green airport shuttle busses is said to prevent the contribution of 7 tons of air polluting emissions. The efficiency can also be equated in terms of 800 cars, taken off the road.

    However, what this airport really boasts of is the distinction they earned for being the world's first airport terminal that made use of the most green construction materials. In fact, the airport's distinction comes with a certification from the US Green Building Council. Thus, the environmental hazards of toxic building materials such as paints, carpets and other materials that emit and leach have been largely eliminated, affording the green traveling passengers better indoor air quality.

    Other green building features of the Logan International airport:

    1. High albedo roofing materials or materials that have the ability to reflect in heat of the sun;

    2. Automated or self-dimming illuminations;

    3. Devices to filter storm water;

    4. Slow-flowing faucets, instead of the types that burst with pressure the moment valves are turned open;

    5. Waterless urinals;

    6. Construction materials, those that were recycled from the old airport building.

    There are other air terminals who have also taken the initiative to adopt green measures as their beginnings in becoming green airports. Some may have implemented methods other than those prescribed by the Green Airport Initiatives. Globally, more and more airports in other countries, are also implementing procedures towards becoming green airports.

    However, in as much as these greenest airports would love to take part in improving air quality, they maintain that their green initiatives are only as far as those that take place within the boundaries of the airport. The air emissions, as airplanes become airborne are beyond the airport’s control.