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Sustainability

The Columbus Regional Airport Authority oversees energy and environmental resources for John Glenn Columbus International, Rickenbacker International, and Bolton Field airports. Our commitment to sustainability aligns with the community’s interests, promoting responsible practices for the environment, economy, and society.

Our strategic focus includes collaboration, energy efficiency, compliance, and conservation. We strive for environmental leadership, aiming to minimize our impact on nature and communities. This involves pollution prevention, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and ongoing improvements to our environmental programs. These principles guide our activities and will be integral to future energy and environmental planning as we expand.

We accomplish this through:

A handshake with five stars representing collaboration with the Columbus Airports.

Collaboration

Our energy and environment programs are developed in collaboration with airport users, community leaders, and regulatory agencies.

A charger with a plug attached to it, conveniently available at John Glenn International Airport (CMH) maintained by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority.

Energy performance

We continually strive for energy conservation, efficiency, and innovation. Our goal is to reduce electricity, natural gas, and other sources of energy wherever possible.

A clipboard with a check mark on it at John Glenn International (CMH) Airport in Columbus.

Compliance

Every year we inspect, record, and maintain environmental aspects hundreds of times. Our continuous improvement process ensures that we do things better today than we did yesterday.

John Glenn International Airport, operated by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, features a beautiful blue background with a symbolic image of two hands holding a leaf.

Conservation

Conservation and stewardship of the environment include managing wetlands and streams, recycling and reducing waste, and planning compatible land use.

Sustainability portfolio:

In 2023, Columbus Regional Airport Authority received Level 2 accreditation out of ACA’s four-step program.

The airport industry is committed to improving its environmental performance and energy and emissions are two factors we can affect. Columbus Regional Airport Authority secured 100% renewable electricity for CMH and TZR via wind and solar sources in 2020, securing these facilities’ power through 2037.

Download our sustainability in energy and the environment policy statement.

Runway LED high-intensity edge lighting

The relocation of the south runway led to CMH installing LED high-intensity edge lighting in 2013. The north runway also received LEDs during renovations in 2016. Besides reducing energy usage, LEDs improve visibility in all weather conditions.

Energy-saving LEDs

LEDs installed during a three-year terminal modernization at CMH have reduced electricity consumption and increased electricity efficiency rebates. These energy-saving opportunities have become deliberate airport improvement priorities.

Solar panels

With free wi-fi and over 2,000 power outlets available for passenger use, we took steps to reduce the electronics energy by installing 33 solar panels.

Aircraft servicing equipment

The FAA provided a $2.7 million grant to John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) in 2016 to replace petroleum-powered airport gates with new emission-reducing equipment.

Shuttle bus energy conversions

About 1.2 million miles are covered by CMH shuttle buses each year, equivalent to 48 trips around the world. Since propane autogas is a cleaner fuel and a sustainable resource, the airport switched all its shuttle buses from diesel to propane autogas resulting in:

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

Electric vehicles

With electric vehicle charging stations in the parking garage, blue lot, and walking lot, CMH aims to increase electric vehicle adoption. Additionally, the Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA) has adopted the following:

  • Hybrid-electric police vehicles with lithium batteries, allowing engines to power onboard electronics without idling
  • At Rickenbacker International Airport, a 100% electric main deck loader and belt loader to handle millions of pounds of cargo with zero emissions

Air quality

Both CMH and LCK have upgraded their air filtration systems, capturing and removing smaller particles from circulated air.

Zero-emission electric buses

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

In 2020, CMH and TZR began sourcing 100% of their energy supply from renewable sources, in collaboration with Worthington Energy Consultants and provided by community partner AEP Energy.

Water bottle filling stations are available throughout CMH, LCK, and the rental car center to encourage passengers to reuse water bottles.