Mario Rodriguez, executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority, will serve as a panelist speaker today at the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization Seminar on Green Airports at their headquarters in Montreal, Canada. The discussion will center around green-energy initiatives, in which Rodriguez will focus on the Indianapolis International Airport’s span of carbon-reducing efforts.
“We have an excellent story to tell the world,” said Rodriguez. “Our decisions and efforts are a testament to our commitment to environmental stewardship, and how to integrate that into an airport operation and traveler experience that increases the value of an airport as a public asset.”
Those achievements begin with the construction of the new terminal in 2008, by which the Indy airport became the first LEED certified airport campus in the United States. Recently the Airports Council International – North America’s Airport Carbon Accreditation Program announced that the Indy airport had reached their Level 2 Reduction designation for reducing carbon emissions throughout the airport’s operations. In all, these steps have resulted in emissions reductions equal to removing 5,720 vehicles from the road, to date.
One of the key topics to be discussed during the event is solar energy, and Rodriguez will have a strong story to share regarding the airport’s solar farm initiative – the largest solar-energy generating operation on airport property in the world. The solar farm generates electricity to power 3,675 average American homes per year. The solar farm was noted as a significant contribution to Indianapolis being named in the Shining Cities Report from Environment America, and awarded the 2015 Indianapolis Sustainability Award from SustainIndy.
Rodriguez also will discuss the airport’s recent launch of the nation’s largest airport electric shuttle bus fleet, funded by the largest federal Zero Emissions Grant awarded in 2016, and an additional ZEV grant awarded to the airport this year. The fleet will grow to five buses in January 2018, and will expand to a nine-bus fleet in 2019. The electric buses reduce IND’s carbon footprint by 15 million pounds.
A range of other sustainable initiatives will also be part of Rodriguez’s presentation to the UN ICAO, including the airport’s BlueIndy electric car-sharing service that was implemented in 2016, which produces no direct carbon emissions, no noise pollution or odor. He will also discuss the bee apiary the Indy airport established with White Lick Beekeeper’s Association to support community education and beekeeping training to preserve the endangered Indiana honey bee. The apiary earned the airport the 2017 Airports Council International-North America’s Environmental Achievement Award for Outreach, Education and Community Involvement.
While Rodriguez will focus on the larger initiatives at the UN ICAO meeting today, the Indy airport’s sustainability efforts also include water-bottle refilling stations for passengers traveling through the airport, and human-powered mobile-device charging bikes that require no electricity usage and help promote fitness.
In leaving for his trip, Rodriguez said he plans to leave the UN ICAO with one clear message: “An airport is a tremendous asset to its community; IND connects us to the world and does so in a world-class way that protects our environment.”
Along with Rodriguez from the Indianapolis International Airport, representatives from the San Diego International Airport, the San Francisco International Airport, Aéroports de Paris, Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Airports of Thailand, Federal Aviation Administration, Airports Council International – World and the U.S. Green Building Council, among others, will also be participating in the event.
About the Indianapolis Airport Authority
The Indianapolis Airport Authority owns and operates Indiana’s largest airport system in the Indianapolis metropolitan area. In addition to the Indianapolis International Airport (IND), its facilities include the Downtown Heliport, Eagle Creek Airpark, Hendricks County Airport-Gordon Graham Field, Indianapolis Regional Airport and Metropolitan Airport. IND generates a $5.4 billion total annual economic impact for Central Indiana – without relying on state or local taxes to fund operations. More than 10,000 people work at the airport each day, and 22,600 area jobs have a connection to the airport. IND serves more than 8.5 million business and leisure travelers each year, averaging 143 daily flights – seasonally and year-round – to 49 nonstop destinations. IND is consistently ranked, year after year, as the best airport in North America and the nation, based on ease of use, passenger amenities, customer service, local retail offerings and public art. The airport is home of the world’s second largest FedEx operation and the nation’s eighth-largest cargo facility. IND is committed to becoming the airport system of choice for both passenger and cargo service. For more information, visit IND’s Facebook page at Indianapolis International Airport and Twitter page at @INDairport.