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:
Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA)
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.