Airport Aims For Cleaner Air

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South Bend International Airport is detailing additional funding for a project to improve air quality inside its main terminal. The airport is receiving more than $6.1 million from the Federal Aviation Administration to switch to a geothermal heating and cooling system. October 8, 2014

News Release

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- South Bend International Airport (SBN) has been awarded over $6.1 million in grant funding by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The monies are provided by the FAA’s Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) and Airport Improvement Program (AIP) programs.

More than $5.6 million ($2 million from VALE and $3.6 million from AIP) will be used to reduce emissions and improve air quality by installing a geothermal heating and cooling system at SBN. Geothermal heating and cooling systems take advantage of the relatively constant temperature below the earth’s surface. This new system replaces an aging heat pump system that has served the airport’s main terminal building for nearly 20 years. SBN’s new concourse was constructed with a geothermal system.

$487,754 in AIP funds were also awarded for the costs associated with the facility design modifications needed to construct the Federal Inspection Station (FIS) and General Aviation Facility (GAF) bringing SBN one step closer to providing services for international commercial passenger and general aviation traffic.

“Any time we are awarded grant money there is reason to be pleased,” said SBN Executive Director Mike Daigle. “We thought outside the box when applying for these grants. While each of these projects qualified for funding under the grant guidelines, we are told this is the first time the FAA has awarded VALE funds for this type of Geothermal project.”

The geothermal project is set to begin later this month.

Pending final approval from US Customs and Border Protection on the design of the FIS and GAF, the projects will then go out to bid. Construction is expected to begin in early 2015.

Source: South Bend International Airport