Airport Sustainability Using Utilities Master Plans

By District Energy posted 10-31-2017 00:00


James Grant, Aviation Pros


With an ongoing increase in air travel, the growth in the aviation industry necessitates periodic large-scale infrastructure updates in aging airports. Sustainability is an important factor to consider in planning as environmental regulations become more stringent and entities are held accountable for their carbon footprint and resource usage. A utilities master plan (UMP) allows airports to plan for - and then track – energy and water needs and usage, and document emissions for reporting agencies. With the rate of increase in technology for clean and low-cost energy options, a utilities master plan becomes an essential piece of infrastructure planning.

Large international airports, including George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Los Angeles International and San Francisco International Airport, are leading the industry in incorporating utility master plans into their long-range plans by realizing the importance of underground infrastructure as well as what is happening above the ground. The UMP forecasts utility demands with the projected growth pattern and prioritizes projects to coordinate with the airport’s larger construction goals and allows for inclusion in capital improvement programs. By having a robust utilities plan, developers can plan ahead and prevent service interruptions caused by insufficient utility systems.

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