Press Release Article


FIRST SOLAR-POWERED AIRCRAFT COMPLETES TRANSCONTINENTAL FLIGHT AT JOHN F. KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Date: Jul 08, 2013
Press Release Number: 67-2013

Port Authority facility is host to pioneering aviation and environmental endeavor

Solar Impulse completed its pioneering voyage as the first solar-powered aircraft to fly coast-to-coast with a late night landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday, July 6, touching down on Runway 22L at 11:09 p.m. It started its voyage May 3 in San Francisco, with subsequent stops in Phoenix, Dallas, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

Various dignitaries and well-wishers, including Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye and JFK General Manager Jerry Spampanato, welcomed the arrival of Solar Impulse co-pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg on Saturday and again today at an event at JFK commemorating the completion of the journey. The clean-energy aircraft contains thousands of silicon solar cells and is equipped with state-of-the-art batteries that store power, making it possible to fly thousands of miles without fossil fuel.

“We applaud the pioneering spirit of Solar Impulse’s copilots and their commitment to sustainable air travel,” said Executive Director Pat Foye. “JFK Airport has been the site for many memorable moments in aviation history and with this landing, we reaffirm our commitment to making this airport, and all of our airports, leaders in environmental sustainability.”

“The Port Authority will continue to expand efforts already under way to reduce the agency’s environmental footprint at JFK, LaGuardia, Stewart, Newark Liberty, Teterboro and Atlantic City airports,” said Bill Baroni, the Port Authority’s deputy executive director. “We proudly support clean technologies and will continue to make investments in sustainable energy solutions at all our facilities.”

The Port Authority seeks to reduce the agency’s environmental footprint where possible, and already has embarked on sustainability initiatives at its airports and other facilities. Airport-wide efforts include use of green vehicle fleets, installation of energy-saving LED lighting and reduction of jet fuel use at JFK by keeping planes longer at gates until departures are imminent.

The arrival of Solar Impulse at JFK marks the latest time that the airport has served as host to major green initiatives. Earlier this year, the Port Authority was the site of the first series of transatlantic flights, coming in and out of JFK, powered in part by advanced aviation biofuels, made from used cooking oil.

The Port Authority’s advanced Surface Congestion Management program at JFK has resulted in annual fuel savings of five million gallons with a reduction of taxiing and idling aircraft by keeping planes at the gates longer. Additionally, JFK boasts a cogeneration plant that produces both electric power and thermal energy to supply the airport's electricity requirements more efficiently.

In 2011 and 2012, JFK participated in a program with the New York Power Authority, implementing energy efficiency projects that cut electric demand by almost 500 kilowatts. The program saved the airport nearly $500,000 annually. Additionally, solar panels are in place at several facilities, with others planned for installation.

Across the agency, the Port Authority’s vehicular fleet is composed of hybrids, biodiesel, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), ethanol 85, and hydrogen vehicles.

For more on the agency’s green initiatives, visit www.panynj.gov/about/environmental-initiatives.html. For more information on Solar Impulse, contact: Alexandra Gindroz, Solar Impulse at (408) 609-0034 or via e-mail Alexandra.Gindroz@solarimpulse.com

CONTACT: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 212-435-7777

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.


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