FAA Emission Reduction Programs

The FAA has two programs that reduce on-airport emissions.  The Voluntary Airport Lower Emission (VALE) program and the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program.


VALE was the first program FAA started to specifically reduce air emissions at airports.  In calendar year 2019, VALE projects reduced emissions equivalent to removing an estimated 66,550 cars and trucks off the roadways. 

The FAA provides matching funds that cover the majority share of VALE projects.  FAA provides 75 percent for large and medium hub airports and 90 percent for small and non-hub airports.  Note however, for vehicles this cost share is only for the cost differential of the vehicle. 

This program is only for commercial airports, and only for those airports that are in areas that are not in “attainment” with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards or NAAQS.  The areas must either be listed as in non-attainment or maintenance.  You can find the status in EPA’s Green Book.  EPA has worked with FAA to authorize the use of Airport Emission Reduction Credits or AERCs.  By tracking reduced emissions on airports, sponsors are able to using these emission savings and apply them to another project that would have caused non-comformity with the Air Quality Standards.  Credits, however, are only able to be used in the year that they are created. 


ZEV, a newer program, is available to any public use airport.  The ZEV program has no requirements that the airport be in a non-attainment area and FAA doesn’t track emission reductions with ZEV because there are no credits associated with this program.  Any public use airport, commercial or general aviation, can apply for a ZEV grant regardless of the NAAQS status at the airport.

Finally, funding is greater for vehicles in this program as compared to the VALE program because federal matching applies to the whole vehicle, not just the cost differential.

How To Apply

Both programs include infrastructure as part of the project cost.  However, the infrastructure must be required to result in the emission reductions.  Initial Applications for both programs are due November 1, to the regional and area district offices.  These submissions are intended to be brief and inexpensive.  Submittal instructions are on the FAA web pages for these programs. 

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