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Source: US State of New York

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a switch to electric powered ground service equipment at Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, a major step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the region and a significant advancement toward solidifying JFK as a modern gateway to the world. The New York Power Authority, in partnership with JetBlue, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has completed the installation of 38 charging hubs—with 118 charging ports—at the terminal, which is operated by JetBlue. The airside electrification of the JetBlue terminal is the first Federal Aviation Administration Voluntary Airport Low Emissions Program – or VALE – grant project of its kind at JFK and it advances the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the most aggressive climate change law in the nation – which Governor Cuomo signed this year.

 

“New York is committed to delivering a new, world-class JFK airport that not only incorporates best-in-class technological advancements and passenger amenities but also reduces our carbon footprint,” Governor Cuomo said. “By electrifying JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at JFK airport we are advancing our nation-leading climate goals and taking a significant step towards solidifying JFK as a modern gateway to the world.”

 

“We have transformed our state with record investments in infrastructure, including at our airports,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The installation of electric charging stations at JetBlue’s Terminal 5 is advancing our aggressive clean energy goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help to combat climate change. The modernization of JFK Airport is part of our ongoing efforts to improve the transportation network and enhance the traveler experience as a world-class facility.”

 

The charging hubs directly support JetBlue in the conversion of its fleet of 118 baggage tugs and belt loaders to electric power. Converting the ground support equipment at Terminal 5 from gasoline to clean electric power will remove four million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere annually, the equivalent of taking about 385 cars off the road. Additionally, it will reduce ground fuel usage by 200,000 gallons of fuel a year, vastly improving energy efficiency and decreasing both air and noise pollution.

 

The project follows the announcement made in 2017 by Governor Cuomo, that Port Authority and JetBlue secured $4 million in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration’s VALE to reduce emissions at JFK. The VALE grant, the Port Authority’s first, accounts for 75 percent of the total $5.3 million cost of the charging hubs. NYPA implemented the project and provided $200,000 in funding, with JetBlue providing an additional $1.1 million.

 

Rick Cotton, Executive Director of the Port Authority of NY and NJ, said, “The installation of 38 fast-charging hubs will not only contribute to improved air quality across the region, but it will also bring modern and advanced technological solutions to JFK Airport. We’re grateful for NYPA’s and JetBlue’s partnership as we continue to make remarkable progress in reducing our carbon footprint.”

 

Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, said, “NYPA is proud to partner with the Port Authority and JetBlue on this exciting initiative to electrify JetBlue’s terminal at JFK International Airport. NYPA, under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, is committed to transitioning New York State into a clean energy economy and this public-private initiative at one of the world’s busiest airports is a significant step toward realizing that goal.”

 

Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue president and chief operating officer, said, “JetBlue remains committed to managing our CO2 emissions including the transition of our ground service equipment to electric power sources where feasible. Electric ground service equipment will significantly reduce our environmental impact and increase operational efficiencies including safer and quieter equipment for our ground operations crewmembers.”

 

In October 2018, the Port Authority became the first public transportation agency to embrace the Paris Climate Agreement and commit to aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals. Furthermore, the agency identified 12 concrete action items to achieve those goals, known as the “clean dozen.” To date, the Port Authority has made significant strides in reducing pollution across its facilities, including its airports, as JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty now move toward all-electric shuttle bus fleets, and a community solar power plan at JFK has been finalized in cooperation with NYPA.

 

The Governor’s JFK Vision Plan, initially unveiled in January 2017, calls for transforming JFK into a world-class, 21st century transit hub by incorporating best-in-class technological innovations and passenger amenities, including a unified terminal layout, modernized on-airport infrastructure, and vastly improved roadways, taxiways and AirTrain JFK system.

 

By increasing the number and size of gates, improving parking availability, adding a variety of airside taxiway enhancements, and upgrading AirTrain JFK, gate and roadway congestion will be markedly reduced, leading to improved air quality across the region. The airport will safely and efficiently be able to accommodate an increase of 15 million passengers per year as a result of these upgrades.

 

As part of the JFK Vision Plan, JetBlue and JFK Millennium Partners are constructing a $3 billion, 1.2 million-square-foot terminal on the airport’s north side that will connect to the airline’s existing Terminal 5. Additionally, a new $7 billion, 2.9 million-square-foot terminal on the airport’s south side will occupy the area where the existing Terminals 1 and 2 are located, in addition to the area left vacant when Terminal 3 was demolished in 2014. The new south side terminal will be developed by the Terminal One Group, a consortium of four international airlines – Lufthansa, Air France, Japan Airlines, and Korean Air Lines – with the Carlyle Group, JLC Infrastructure, and with Ullico as the financing and development partner.

 

As part of the JFK Vision Plan, the redevelopment also calls for increasing the number and size of gates, improving parking availability, adding an array of airside taxiway improvements to reduce gate congestion, upgrading the AirTrain JFK system to handle increased passenger capacity and enhancing roadways on and off the airport.

 

The New York State Department of Transportation has targeted $1.5 billion in highway improvements, including improvements to the Van Wyck Expressway and the Kew Garden Interchange.

 

New York State’s Green New Deal

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal is the most aggressive climate change program in the nation and puts the state on a path to being entirely carbon-neutral across all sectors of the economy, including power generation, transportation, buildings, industry and agriculture. The Governor’s program also establishes a goal to achieve a zero-carbon emissions electricity sector by 2040, faster than any state in the nation. The recently passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates several of the Governor’s ambitious Green New Deal clean energy targets: installing nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035; six gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025 and three gigawatts of energy storage by 2030. The CLCPA also calls for an orderly and just transition to clean energy, creating jobs while spurring a green economy. It builds on New York’s unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including a $2.9 billion investment in 46 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector, and 1,700% growth in the distributed solar sector since 2012. The CLCPA also directs New York State’s agencies and authorities to work collaboratively with stakeholders to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% from 1990 levels by 2050, and to work toward a goal of investing 40 percent of clean energy and energy efficiency resources to benefit disadvantaged communities.

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