Chicago Department of Aviation

Chicago Hosts Fifth Annual Airports Going Green Conference


CHICAGO, November 5, 2012 - The future of airport sustainability, aviation biofuels, green concessions, "net zero" energy strategies, as well as FAA reauthorization and sustainability mandates, are among the key topics of discussion at the Airports Going Green conference hosted by the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) in Chicago.


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel welcomed the conference attendees during the opening session. 

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel welcomes more than 300 attendees to the Airports Going Green conference this morning


"We have made investments throughout Chicago in energy efficiency, transportation and infrastructure. These investments create jobs and advance new industries," said Mayor Emanuel. "Our collaboration with other national and international airports on sustainability initiatives is an important part of our overall efforts to make Chicago the most environmentally responsible city in the country."


The Airports Going Green conference features guest speakers from airports across the U.S. including New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Nashville, Denver, Dallas, Austin, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco; and international airports including Abu Dhabi, London-Heathrow, Amsterdam and Toronto. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and representatives from United Airlines, Boeing and FedEx will also lead discussions on aviation sustainability.


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Airport CEOs discuss the airport sustainablity vision. (L-r) Panel moderator Tudor Van Hampton, Engineering News Record; Mark Gale, CEO, Philadelphia International Airport; Jeffrey Fegan, CEO, Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport; Jim Elwood, Aviation Director, Aspen/Pitkin County Airport; John Potter, President and CEO, Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority and Rosemarie S. Andolino, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA)

Now in its fifth year, Airports Going Green is the industry's premier event for the development, communication, and active discussion of aviation sustainability initiatives. Chicago's green airport conference has been led by Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino.


"Over the years, this conference has evolved to reflect developments in the fields of both sustainability and aviation," said Commissioner Andolino. "Airports Going Green provides a forum for us to work more collaboratively. Airports, airlines, the FAA, concessionaires, and others around the globe have joined our green movement and many of them are at this conference to share their ideas, success stories and lessons learned."

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Beelove, a line of honey and skincare products sourced from the apiary at O'Hare and urban beehive farms in Chicago, was one of 15 exhibitors promoting sustainable products at the Airports Going Green conference


This afternoon, Lonely Planet's Brice Gosnell, Vice President of Publishing, will provide the keynote address. Lonely Planet is the world's most successful travel publisher, printing over 100 million guide books in nine different languages.


The conference also features a special advance screening this evening of the award winning National Geographic documentary, Chasing Ice. National Geographic photographer James Balog will be on-hand to discuss his personal experiences in the making of the film.


The four-day conference officially began yesterday with an airport CEO roundtable discussion on airport sustainability and will culminate on Wednesday with a tour of the sustainability initiatives on the airfield and in the terminals at O'Hare International Airport.


Leaders from the restaurant, freight, design, construction, engineering, media, and transportation industries are also participating in Airports Going Green.


Sessions at the 2012 Airports Going Green will cover topics including:

-       The future of airport sustainability

-       Aviation biofuels

-       FAA Reauthorization and Sustainability mandates

-       Green Concessions

-       Green Vendor/Products speed dating

-       Using social media to advance sustainability

-       "Net Zero" airports


Following the Mayor's welcome, Commissioner Andolino thanked AAAE, the conference's steering committee, CDA employees and all the attendees for continuing to make the conference so successful.


"Working together, we've been able to change the culture in our industry in a very short time. Going green is no longer simply an 'add on' or afterthought - sustainability is built into everything we do, and has become equal to our other core missions, such as safety," said Andolino. "All of us have an opportunity to lead by example in the green movement, not just for our industry, but for the world."

 2012 Airports Going Green CLICK HERE