TULSA, Okla. — With Earth Day days away, 2 News got an exclusive look at how Tulsa International Airport is working toward a greener tomorrow.
The airport spent several years making adjustments to reduce energy use and save fuel. TIA began the initiative in 2018.
It started with small changes like switching to LED lights within the terminal. Since then, it has expanded to much more along with a comprehensive look at the creeks surrounding the airport.
Katie Smith, the environmental compliance coordinator for the airport, takes water samples of the creeks surrounding the airport on a regular basis.
“I measure the effluent for things that we use on the airfield to make sure we’re not contaminating the water as it goes to our neighbors,” Smith said.
Samples are sent to a lab where they look for chemicals like deicing fluid which is toxic to wildlife downstream.
“We have safety measures in place to try and capture it before it leaves the site and then we take samples of it just to make sure they are working effectively,” Smith said.
Inside the airport, they recently switched from steam boilers to condensing boilers which has helped reduce fuel consumption by nearly 60 percent.
“With the changes, we have made, not only are we saving money but we are having less of a carbon footprint in the community now,” customer experience director, Bryan Cook said.
The airport says it also reduced its electricity usage by 11% passing its goal of 5% set in 2018. They will also be adding more EV charging ports and plan to have all of their shuttle buses electric-powered by 2025.
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