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Airport experts offer tips to expand use of electric ground service equipment to meet sustainability goals

AAAE logo, for guidance on expanding use of electric ground service equipment

The American Association of Airport Executives’ (AAAE) Airport Consortium on Customer Trust (ACT) Program has released its newest research examining practical approaches for airports to expand the infrastructure to support use of electric ground service equipment (eGSE) by studying implementation projects at several large hub airports. 

The ACT Working Group on Sustainability and Resiliency consists of airport and industry executives from across the United States and Canada. The group shares experiences implementing projects that lower CO2 emissions and educates colleagues on lessons learned from these initiatives. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, expanding use of electric ground service equipment (eGSE) can contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG), which many airport operators cite within sustainability goals. 

The research explores optional government grants, policy considerations for airport tenants, and the effects of deploying multiple charging station manufacturers across one airport. It includes the use of an energy maturity assessment to help airports analyze energy efficiency programs and catalog decarbonization opportunities, which can be used for projects beyond ground service equipment. 

The path to net-zero GHG requires a shift from fossil fuel combustion to lower carbon sources of energy such as green electricity. Electrification of ground service equipment will play a significant role and is also a challenge for GHG reduction at airports.

Todd Ernst, director, aviation, energy, and environment for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority

Our collaboration with other airports and subject matter experts on eGSE, through AAAE’s ACT program, has proven extremely valuable in helping Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) move our eGSE program forward. Sharing lessons learned has streamlined this implementation for all of us. 

Michael R. Christensen, P.E., C.M., chief operations and maintenance officer at Los Angeles World Airports

It is advised airports begin with an energy maturity model to better understand the current demands for facilities, seek to learn what assets are consuming energy, how much additional power is needed for electric chargers, and where the additional needed power will be found. A series of recommendations and lessons learned is published in this research to guide airport leaders interested in expanding use of eGSE at their airports. 

View all recent ACT research