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Albuquerque International Sunport Highlights Sustainablity Efforts

Sustainability programs include solar power initiatives, recycling, and electric vehicles.

January 17, 2020

Following the lead of the Keller administration’s sustainability efforts and goals, the Albuquerque International Sunport continues to make strides as an environmentally conscious airport, introducing new programs and continuing to grow existing programs over the course of the year.

“The Sunport is a 24/7 facility with an array of partners that can help us pave the way to a more eco-conscious, sustainable city,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “At the airport, not only can we take advantage of year-round sunshine for solar energy, we can also implement innovative solutions for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions.”

Among the Sunport’s sustainability programs, its solar power initiatives continue to expand. With solar canopies covering many parking lots, solar energy accounts for an average of 12 percent of the total electricity demand of the airport – approximately 2.2 million kilowatt hours annually.

In late 2018, the Sunport was awarded funds from the Volkswagen Settlement Mitigation Trust Fund to replace some ground handling equipment with electric vehicles and accompanying charging stations. Since the award, three ground vehicles have been replaced and charging stations have been installed at several gates. The Sunport hopes to replace more ground handling equipment over the next several years.

Inside the terminal, recycling has become a top priority for the entire airport community. Total recycled materials increased nearly 250 percent over the past 10 years, with over 130 tons recycled in 2018. Additionally, a composting pilot program was launched with some of the Sunport’s food concessionaires.

“Making the airport more environmentally friendly is one of my priorities as director, and the progress that we have made over the course of the last year has been very promising,” said Nyika Allen, Director of Aviation for the City of Albuquerque. “This is just the beginning of our sustainability journey. Along with expanding our overall environmental efforts, we are aiming to achieve the highest level of Airport Carbon Accreditation, joining only two other North American airports.”