Delta unveils electric baggage-handling vehicles in Albany

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Back in 2000, Albany International Airport began a green initiative that continues to move forward today. It currently uses a number of CNG-powered buses and trucks on the property, and continues to look for ways to shrink its environmental footprint. The next step in that direction can be seen hauling baggage to and from Delta Air Lines flights at the airport.

The airline has purchased six electric-powered baggage tractors and three belt loaders for use in Albany, and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) ponied up $193K in grant money to finance the purchase of a 10-vehicle charging station for the new equipment. Delta's new baggage-handling EVs are expected to cost less to operate and be dramatically more emissions-friendly than a comparable set of traditional diesel-powered units, and are in service as of last week. Press release pasted after the jump.

[Source: Albany International Airport]



Albany, NY (February 7, 2008) - - - David E. Langdon, chairman of the Albany County Airport Authority, Roger B. Kelley, president and chief executive officer of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), and Frederick Acunto, Albany station manager for Delta Air Lines, today activated a fleet of electric vehicles that will be used to haul and load baggage and cargo for Delta's flights at Albany International Airport.

Airport baggage equipment is traditionally powered by gasoline or small diesel engines. The electric units will help reduce pollution that can accumulate in the airport's baggage tunnel and lower the overall carbon footprint.

"This is another positive step in our comprehensive program to utilize clean, safe and economical electric and natural gas-powered vehicles at Albany International Airport," said Airport Chairman David E. Langdon.

"The successful deployment of electric service vehicles at Albany International Airport reduces the use of diesel fuel which lowers greenhouse gas emissions and helps contribute to Governor Spitzer's goal for combating global warming in New York State," said NYPA President Roger B. Kelley.

The new electric-powered fleet includes six bag tractors and three belt loaders that were purchased by Delta Air Lines and a 10-vehicle PosiCharge electric-charging station that was installed by the Airport Authority under a $193,560 grant from NYPA. It is expected this program will reduce greenhouse gases by 87 percent or about 396 tons annually, when compared with diesel fuel use. The cost of charging instead of using diesel will represent about a 75 percent savings.

"Delta is pleased the Albany International Airport and The New York Power Authority were able to bring this to our Albany, NY station, said Fred Acunto, station manager, Delta Air Lines. "This program will help to expand upon our sustainable business practices and achieve significant operational and environmental benefits."

The Power Authority is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency and new energy technologies and is the nation's largest state-owned electric utility with 18 generating plants and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines in various parts of the state. NYPA's clean transportation program has placed more than 850 hybrid and all-electric vehicles in the fleets of numerous public entities.

The PosiCharge GSE fast-charge system, installed by Kasselman Electric of Albany, is a cost-effective solution for simultaneously charging up to 10 vehicles. The system can easily be expanded to provide charging bays for additional airport and airline equipment. The charging system is outdoor-rated to withstand Albany's extreme heat or cold and the most severe weather conditions.

The Albany International Airport launched its commitment to "go green" in 2000 with the introduction of two compressed natural gas-fueled (CNG) shuttle buses. Today the Airport operates a fleet of six CNG-fueled buses and three CNG-powered pickup trucks.

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