Voluntary Airport Low Emissions Program (VALE)
VALE improves airport air quality and provides air quality credits for future airport development. Created in 2004, VALE helps airport sponsors meet their state-related air quality responsibilities under the Clean Air Act. Through VALE, airport sponsors can use Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds and Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) to finance low emission vehicles, refueling and recharging stations, gate electrification, and other airport air quality improvements.
As of September 2022, VALE grants have funded 138 projects at 59 airports. Details can be found in the project summary below. VALE grants are expected to reduce ozone emissions by 1,755 tons per year for the next 5 years. This is equivalent to removing 97,974 cars and trucks off the road each year.
- VALE Brochure (PDF) (updated September 9, 2020)
- Summary of VALE Airport Projects and Contacts (updated September 28, 2022)
Program Guidance and Application Information
- Eligible Airports: An eligible airport must be a commercial service airport that is in a "non-attainment" or "maintenance" area for one of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). To ensure an airport is eligible, contact the State Air Quality Agency and local EPA office for the latest NAAQS designations. The proposed project must not be included in any State Improvement Plan in order to be eligible to receive credits for any proposed project. Being eligible to receive credits for a project is a requirement of the program.
- VALE Technical Report (V7.0) (PDF)
This report provides detailed information on project planning, the application process, eligibility requirements (e.g., vehicle/equipment, fuel, ownership), program vehicle low-emission standards, emissions calculation methodology, cost effectiveness criteria, project tracking, etc.
- Guidance on Airport Emission Reduction Credits for Early Measures Through Voluntary Airport Low Emission Programs (PDF) (September 2004)
Vision-100 requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in consultation with FAA, to issue guidance to ensure that airport sponsors receive appropriate airport emission reduction credits (AERCs) for VALE projects. State air quality agencies must provide assurances to FAA that airport sponsors will receive AERCs prior to AIP and PFC funding. This guidance outlines how airport sponsors qualify for AERCs and can use AERCs in the future to meet general conformity and new source review requirements under the Clean Air Act.
Annual Deadline for Project Proposals
The annual deadline for pre-applications is November 1 each year. Airports must submit pre-applications to their FAA Airports District Office (or FAA Regional Office for Regions without ADOs) by that date. Pre-applications are plain bond write-ups of no more than 3 pages with the following information:
- A brief description of the proposed project, and anticipated benefits to the airport and air quality.
- The airport's current status for all EPA criteria pollutants. Status can be found in the EPA's Greenbook.
- An estimate of emissions reductions for all criteria pollutants (average for each year, and cumulatively over useful life).
- An estimate of the AIP funding request and local match.
- Program Application Worksheets (V7.0) (MS Excel)
- Program Vehicle and Equipment Tracking Worksheets (V7.0) (MS Excel)
- FAA Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT)