Airport Environmental Mitigation Pilot Program (EMPP)
The Airport Environmental Mitigation Pilot Program allows the FAA to provide grants for environmental mitigation projects that will measurably reduce or mitigate aviation impacts on noise, air quality, or water quality at the airport or within five miles of the airport.
Authorized by Section 190 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, the EMPP can fund up to six projects at public-use airports. The program will end 5 years after FAA makes the first grant under the program.
2022 Selected Projects
In response to a May 2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity soliciting pre-applications, 19 airports applied. In August 2022, the FAA announced plans to fund 5 projects.
Note: John Wayne Airport, Orange County, decided not to accept the grant, and the project is not moving forward under the FAA’s Environmental Mitigation Pilot Program.
Project Description: Acquire, install, and operate a water treatment system designed to eliminate the use and discharge of hazardous chemicals in the airport's cooling tower.
In partnership with Dynamic Water Technologies, LLC; and Sterling Energy International, Inc., Orange County will use the funding to acquire, install, and operate a water treatment system designed to eliminate the use and discharge of hazardous chemicals currently used in the airport’s cooling tower operation.
Status: The airport withdrew its application due to needed infrastructure upgrades that could interfere with the project.
Project Description: Install three active noise control systems to reduce departing aircraft noise for neighboring communities.
In partnership with Harris Miller Miller & Hanson, Inc., and the National Institute of Aerospace, the Louisville Regional Airport Authority will use the funding to install three active noise control systems to reduce departing aircraft noise by as much as 10 dB (decibels) for three communities near the airfield.
Project Description: Implement a cost-effective remediation method for PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination in soils.
In partnership with CDM Smith, Inc.; Michigan State University; LimnoTech, Inc.; the American Association of Airport Executives; and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority will use the funding to implement a cost-effective remediation method for PFAS contamination in soils to reduce impact on water quality. The project will evaluate adsorptive materials to reduce soil and water contamination.
Project Description: Implement a deicing fluid application control system that incorporates precision deicing technology.
In partnership with Trimble, Inc., the Wayne County Airport Authority will use the funding to implement a deicing fluid application control system that incorporates precision deicing technology to minimize deicing fluid over-spray, reduces the amount of applied chemicals, and improves the quality of deicing runoff. The new technology will be installed on existing deicing equipment as well as on six new deicing units.
Project Description: Implement thermal remediation and other technologies to treat PFAS-contaminated soils and liquids.
In partnership with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation; Contaminated Sites Program; the American Association of Airport Executives; Aquagga, Inc.; ASRC Consulting & Environmental Services, LLC; and Shannon & Wilson, Inc., the Alaska Department of Transportation, Division of Statewide Aviation, will use the funding to implement thermal remediation and other technologies to treat PFAS-contaminated soils and liquids. The airport will use electrically driven, mobile remediation equipment that treats soil and liquids for mitigation, possibly allowing the material to remain on site.
What Projects Qualify?
Projects funded through this pilot program:
- Should introduce new environmental mitigation techniques or technologies that have been proven in laboratory demonstrations
- Should propose methods for efficient adaptation or integration of new concepts into airport operations.
- Must measurably reduce or mitigate aviation impacts on noise, air quality, or water quality at the airport or within five miles of the airport.
- Must demonstrate whether new techniques or new technologies are practical to implement at or near public-use airports.
The law prioritizes projects implemented by joint teams of at least two of the following types of organizations: businesses, educational or research organizations, State or local government, and Federal laboratories.
What Funds Are Available?
Selected projects may receive up to $2.5 million in federal funding through grants from the Airport Improvement Program’s noise and environmental set-aside. Grants will cover 50 percent of project costs, and airports must provide 50 percent in airport matching funds. Airports must complete projects within 24 months of receiving the grants.
What Do We Hope to Learn?
New environmental mitigation techniques or technologies capable of reducing noise, emissions or water quality impacts in measurably significant amounts that can be easily transferable to other airports.