09/17/2019 01:29 AM

Sept. 16, 2019

Heath Montgomery
(424) 646-5260
Van Nuys General Aviation Airport Increases Certification to Level 3 Following Stakeholder Engagement, Emissions Reductions


(From left) Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Chief of Airport Planning Tami McCrossen-Orr, Airports Council International-North America President Kevin Burke, LAWA Deputy Executive Director and Chief External Affairs Officer Michelle Schwartz and LAWA Airport Environmental Manager Rob Freeman celebrate Los Angeles International Airport and Van Nuys general aviation airport being certified under the Airport Carbon Accreditation program on Monday, Sept. 16. 

(Los Angeles, CA) Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Van Nuys general aviation airport (VNY) are once again certified under the internationally recognized Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) program. VNY, one of only a few general aviation airports in the world to be certified, achieved its highest-ever level of certification.

Both LAX and VNY were certified by Airports Council International-Europe (ACI-Europe) as “Level 3-Optimization,” the highest certification before a facility becomes carbon neutral. This marks the first time that VNY has achieved Level 3 certification under the voluntary program, which requires airports to have their efforts to quantify and reduce greenhouse gas emissions independently verified by ACI-Europe. This is the third year in a row in which LAX has been certified at Level 3. There are four levels of certification: mapping, reduction, optimization and neutrality.

“Van Nuys Airport is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world, and it is being recognized as one of the greenest,” said Deborah Flint, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). “Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our day, and it’s incumbent on all of us, including airports, to innovate to reduce carbon emissions and operate in a more sustainable manner. We are proud that both LAX and Van Nuys Airports have been recognized by Airports Council International for being on the leading edge of sustainable operations.”

VNY was first awarded ACA certification at Level 2-Reduction in 2017. In addition to footprint mapping and carbon management toward a reduced carbon footprint that is required of ACA Level 2-Reduction, certification at ACA Level 3-Optimization recognizes an airport’s efforts to expand its mapping and carbon management efforts to emissions made by third parties operating at the airport. 

VNY is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 5 percent below 2013 levels by 2025. VNY has replaced many fleet vehicles with cleaner, low- or zero-emission vehicles in the past few years. Currently, about 20% of VNY’s fleet is electric. Overall, about 48% of VNY’s fleet is comprised of alternative fuel vehicles. As of Summer 2019, six VNY tenants are certified in the L.A. Green Business Program. In 2018, Aeroplex/Aerolease completed a 1.5 megawatt solar project on its facility. Six other tenant solar projects are underway. Once completed, VNY will have one of the largest solar energy systems of any general aviation airport with an estimated annual production of 44.6 million kilowatts of clean energy.

VNY and LAX also are long-time participants VNY also participates in the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Green Power Program, which helps the utility provider green its energy supply. And earlier this year, VNY became the first general aviation airport to supply sustainable alternative jet fuel to aircraft operators.


LAX was first recognized as an accredited airport under the program in 2016 when it was certified at Level 2 and has been certified at Level 3 since 2017. As one of the nation's leading airports on sustainability, LAX has set a goal of reducing the airport's greenhouse gas emissions to below 45 percent of 1990 levels by 2025, 60 percent by 2035, and 80 percent by 2050.


To achieve these ambitious goals, LAWA has already implemented a number of programs and policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

  • LAX operates an award-winning co-generation Central Utility Plant, which provides a savings of 1.6 million kilowatts annually and was certified “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Gold” by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2015. LAX has also implemented a number of air quality and emissions reduction policies, such as the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Policy and Ground Service Equipment Emissions Reduction Policy. Currently, 35% of ground support equipment operating at LAX is powered by electricity.
  • Since 2015, changes in ground service equipment have resulted in significant emissions reductions, equivalent to removing approximately 176,000 passenger vehicles per day. In 2018, LAWA launched an incentive program to support operators in purchasing zero emission or near-zero emission vehicles.
  • LAWA operates a Clean Fleet Program, which is the nation’s largest airport alternative-fuel fleet, and a Clean Construction Program, in which an independent third party oversees a wide range of actions designed to reduce emissions. 
  • About 21% of LAWA employees participate in a rideshare program.
  • There are more than 150 electric vehicle chargers installed at LAX.
  • The LAX FlyAway bus served more than 1.9 million passengers last year, resulting in reduction of 3,674 metric tons of carbon emissions.
  • Alternative fuel vehicles make up over 60% of LAX’s fleet; 15% of the fleet is now all electric. LAWA has approved the purchase of 20 new electric airfield buses for LAX.
  • Through the LAX Food Harvest Food Donation Program and organic waste recycling pilot program, LAWA diverted about 100 tons of food waste from the landfill last year. 

LAWA will soon release a Sustainability Action Plan, which sets forth bold, but achievable and actionable sustainability goals and targets for energy, water, emissions and waste. The action plan will closely align or support the city of Los Angeles' updated Sustainable City pLAn, also known as L.A.’s Green New Deal. 

For a closer look into many of LAWA's sustainability initiatives, download our 2018 Sustainability Report, available here.

The LAX Dunes, between the west end of the airport and the Pacific Ocean, are the largest remaining representation of coastal dune community within Southern California. The 302-acre Dune site is owned and managed by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). The site provides habitat for over 900 species, some of which cannot be found anywhere else on Earth, including the federally endangered El Segundo Blue Butterfly.
About Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is the City of Los Angeles department that owns and operates Los Angeles International (LAX) and Van Nuys (VNY) general aviation airports, as well as aviation-related property in Palmdale. Both play an integral role in helping to meet the Southern California regional demand for passenger, cargo and general aviation service. Both airports make a distinct contribution to the strength of the system as it provides a high level of safety, security and service for its customers, communities and stakeholders. More information can be found at

As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities. Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request.
# # #

Back To Top