Fairbanks International Airport named recipient of environmental achievement award

    Environmental Manager, Elise Thomas, Airport Director, Angie Spear, and Alaska DOT&PF PFAS Program Manager, Sammy Cummings, pose with ACI-NA representatives at ACI-NA's annual conference in Minneapolis. (Courtesy photo)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Fairbanks International Airport received top honors for their environmental work on per-and polyfluorinated substances, or PFAS, used in fire-fighting activities at airports.

    The Airports Council International – North America named Fairbanks International Airport as one of five recipients to their 2022 Environmental Achievement Award in the Mitigation category last week. The award recognizes work to protect and preserve the environment through airport programs and policies.

    “FAI’s experience has been instrumental to DOT&PF’s implementation in addressing PFAS across the aviation system,” said DOT&PF Commissioner Ryan Anderson. “Fairbanks International Airport has been a leader in creating innovative programs, becoming nationwide experts in mitigating PFAS.”

    The goal of the airports PFAS program is to identify and mitigate the risk to human health. The department used the program as a framework at other airports throughout the state’s aviation system. The program included innovative pilot studies, private well searches, sampling efforts, community outreach, and site characterization efforts to investigate and identify plume boundaries.

    “To say I am proud of our team at FAI would be an understatement,” said FAI Airport Director, Angie Spear. “The dedication and compassion they continue to demonstrate while navigating this complex subject is admirable. Their willingness to share their expertise and coordinate with colleagues around the state has been essential to the success of the department’s statewide program.”

    ACI-NA is a trade association representing commercial service airports in the United States and Canada. The annual Environmental Achievement Awards were established by the ACI-NA Environmental Affairs Committee which presents five awards in the categories of Environmental Management; Outreach and Communication; Innovation: Mitigation; and Environmental Improvement. Award submissions are judged based on environmental benefits, innovation, effective implementation, widespread applicability and cost-effectiveness.

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