Fairbanks International Airport named recipient of ACI-NA 2022 Environmental Achievement Award

Photo: Fairbanks International Airport

Fairbanks International Airport received top honours for their environmental work on per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS), used in fire-fighting activities at airports. The Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) named Fairbanks International Airport (FAI) as one of five recipients to their 2022 Environmental Achievement Award in the Mitigation category last week. The ACI-NA Environmental Achievement Award recognises work to protect and preserve the environment through airport programs and policies.

The goal of FAI’s PFAS program is to identify and mitigate the risk to human health. The department used the FAI program as a framework at other airports throughout the state’s aviation system. The FAI program included innovative pilot studies, private well searches, sampling efforts, community outreach, and site characterisation efforts to investigate and identify plume boundaries.

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“FAI’s experience has been instrumental to DOT&PF’s implementation in addressing PFAS across the aviation system,” DOT&PF commissioner Ryan Anderson said. “Fairbanks International Airport has been a leader in creating innovative programs, becoming nationwide experts in mitigating PFAS.”

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ACI-NA is a trade association representing commercial service airports in the United States and Canada. The annual Environmental Achievement Awards were established by the ACI-NA environmental affairs committee which presents five awards in the categories of environmental management, outreach and communication, innovation, mitigation, and environmental improvement. Award submissions are judged based on environmental benefits, innovation, effective implementation, widespread applicability and cost-effectiveness.

“To say I am proud of our team at FAI would be an understatement,” FAI Airport director Angie Spear said. “The dedication and compassion they continue to demonstrate while navigating this complex subject is admirable. Their willingness to share their expertise and coordinate with colleagues around the state has been essential to the success of the department’s statewide program.”