Sustainability Portfolio

Airport Carbon Accreditation

Airports continue to improve their environmental performance, and energy and emissions are two factors where we can make a difference. In 2020 CRAA took a giant step forward by securing 100% renewable electricity for CMH and TZR via wind and solar sources to power these facilities through at least 2037.

CRAA joined a growing network of airports in the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) program which tracks energy and emissions related to airports (direct and indirect) and gives airports a roadmap to reduce emissions and make their operations more efficient. ACA is an international standard for airports and results are verified by third parties. We are a part of a select group of organizations who bring essential air service to our community while being transparent and responsible with our natural resources. CRAA achieved Level 1 of ACA’s four-step program in 2022, and we are already in process to apply for Level 2.

Aircraft servicing equipment

Airport gates were upgraded at John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) with the help of a $2.7 million grant from the FAA that facilitated replacing petroleum-powered equipment with new emission-reducing units.  Read the press release for the entire story.

Shuttle bus energy conversions

CMH shuttle buses cover about 1.2 million miles a year—the equivalent of driving around the world 48 times. After researching several alternative fuel and energy options for its former diesel-powered shuttle buses, the airport converted all buses to propane autogas because it is a cleaner fuel and a sustainable resource. The project achieved:

  • 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • 40% reduction in smog-producing hydrocarbon emissions
  • Significant fuel and maintenance cost savings
  • Less noise pollution

CMH first airport to install runway LED High Intensity Edge Lighting

In 2013 CMH was the first airport to install LED High Intensity Edge Lighting on its relocated south runway, where other LED lights were also installed. LEDs were also added to the north runway during 2016 renovations. In addition to a significant reduction in energy usage, LEDs provide greater visibility in all weather conditions.

CMH terminal LEDs increase electricity rebates

Energy-saving LEDs—installed during a three-year terminal modernization at CMH—have contributed to an overall reduction of electricity consumption and a greater amount of electricity efficiency rebates. Smart energy-saving opportunities like these have become deliberate priorities when planning airport improvements.

Harvesting the sun's energy

Passengers thrive with free Wi-Fi and more than 2,000 power outlets throughout the CMH terminal. To offset the electronics energy consumed by the 7.3 million passengers who travel through the airport each year, we installed 33 solar panels atop one of the concourses. Airport concessionaires sponsor a major portion of the solar project cost through a collaborative marketing fund. In exchange, concessionaires receive promotional perks in the form of airport marketing. Click to view real-time data and energy being produced by the airport's solar panels.

Water conservation

Throughout CMH, water bottle filling stations are setup for passengers to use to encourage reuse of water bottles. A station has also been setup in the rental car center.

Electric vehicles

As an active member of Smart Columbus Acceleration Partner Program, CMH aims to increase electric vehicle adoption with electric vehicle charging stations in the parking garage, Blue lot, and Walking lot. In addition, Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA) has adopted the following:

  • Hybrid-electric police vehicles with lithium batteries, allowing engines to power onboard electronics without idling.
  • 100% electric-powered main deck loader and belt loader for Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK)'s fixed-base operations, handling millions of pounds of goods with zero emissions.

Air quality

Upgraded air filtration systems were implemented at both CMH and LCK. The systems capture and remove smaller particles from circulated air, including airborne viruses like COVID. 

Renewable energy

In 2020, CMH and Bolton Field (TZR) joined an elite group of leading U.S. airports in sourcing 100% of energy supply from renewable sources, in collaboration with Worthington Energy Consultants and provided by community partner AEP Energy. Read the full press release from February 4, 2020.

Zero-emission electric shuttle buses

In 2021, CMH implemented the first zero-emission battery-electric buses in operation in Ohio. The shuttles circulate between the terminal and rental car center. There are three electric buses in the fleet. Learn more about the rental car center and shuttles.