Long Beach Airport seeks to enter agreement in effort to lower emissions

The agreement will target the airport's ground-service equipment and implement new emission measures and initiatives.


CJ Dablo | Signal Tribune

2015 LGB file photo

The Long Beach Airport (LGB) has requested permission from the Long Beach City Council, to enter a Memorandum of Understanding with (MOU) with South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) in an attempt to lower emissions.

The MOU is a voluntary agreement between LGB and SCAQMD that would set goals with the aim of lowering Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions from the airport’s non-aircraft mobile vehicles, such as busses, shuttles, and trucks that help with day-to-day operations.

According to Ryan McMullan, a noise and environmental officer for LGB, the MOU was arranged as part of the SCAQMD’s goal to reach agreements with five major airports to develop unique Air Quality Improvement Plans (AQIP) that will lower emissions.

“The airport started having working group meetings with [SCAQMD] to come up with ideas on how to implement these measures. And what measures and initiatives they can use to reduce emissions.” McMullan told the Signal Tribune on Nov. 22.

Part of the AQIP will include specific measures and initiatives with the goal of lowering NOx emissions from the airport’s ground fleet.

According to McMullan, measures are programs that can be quantified, while initiatives are projects that are harder to measure. Through these initiatives, the two parties are looking to see a decrease in NOx levels by 2023, and 2031­–– when the MOU is scheduled to end or be renewed.

As part of the airport’s plan to lower emissions, it has developed initiatives such as the Ground Support Emission Reduction Policy. The purpose of the program is to begin transferring ground support equipment (GSE) over to cleaner equipment, such as electric vehicles.

McMullan stated that the airport is already working on accommodating the new vehicles and that LGB has the most aggressive plan out of the five airports.

“We’re just about to start construction on putting electric GSE chargers at each of our 11 Gates,” McMullan said. “So, that’ll help encourage the airlines to make a quicker turn over to electric equipment.”

McMullan said the airport is also looking for cleaner options for vehicles that do not have electric alternatives, such as some that run on natural fuels.

The airport will also be making improvements to the main parking lot through the Clean Construction Policy, which will add more charging stations for visitors. Currently, the parking lot only provides six units.

Despite the massive changes, McMullan said that the public will feel “zero” effects from the changeover and that the community will see benefits from the partnership.

“This is all positive and will have no impact on operations whatsoever,” McMullan said.

The City, which is the proprietor and certified operator, has not yet officially granted the motion. The council will review the MOU at a later date.