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Chattanooga Airport’s New Corporate Flight Center is First Aviation Terminal in the World to be LEED Platinum Certified – FAA Chief Michael Huerta on hand for dedication

Chattanooga, TN, February 22, 2012 – The Chattanooga Airport’s new energy-efficient 9,000 square foot corporate flight center (FBO) terminal facility was recently awarded platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building certification program.

“This remarkable achievement reflects the Chattanooga Airport’s belief that sustainability is more than a simple responsibility to the environment,” said Dan Jacobson, Chairman of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority (CMAA). “Sustainability represents our civic duty to improve the quality of life for the community in which we all live, work and play.”

The FBO terminal, managed by Wilson Air Center, is the only aviation terminal in the world to receive platinum certification representing the highest possible level of energy and environmental performance.

“With the city of Chattanooga actively engaged on a worldwide stage, it is more important than ever that the community provide business leaders and visitors a strong first and last impression,” said Bob Wilson, founder of Wilson Air Center. “Wilson Air Center’s award-winning customer service and the beautiful LEED certified facility combine to exceed visitors’ expectations and serve as a source of civic pride.”

The LEED-certified FBO campus was designed by Allen & Hoshall, with John Naylor leading project management for the airport. LEED certification is an internationally recognized green building certification system which provides building owners and operators a standard for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, most energy efficient and high-performing facilities.

LEED certification of the FBO terminal was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the community, including:

  • Over 3,000 solar panels were installed just south of the terminal, generating more than one megawatt of clean power every year.
  • 95% of all construction waste was recycled.
  • Furniture throughout the facility was sourced from regional providers, limiting the pollution required to transport the materials.
  • Alternative transportation is encouraged and easily accessible for both employees and clients, with direct access to CARTA, bike storage and changing rooms, and reserved parking for low emissions and fuel efficient vehicles.
  • Landscaping throughout the campus is comprised of indigenous plants requiring very little water for hydration.

The airport received a Voluntary Airport Low Emissions grant through the Federal Aviation Administration, which assisted in the development of the one megawatt solar farm. The acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration was on hand for the dedication event.

“This solar farm and the LEED-certified FBO are examples of how to build America’s infrastructure so that it’s sustainable for years to come,” said FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta.  “They are innovative, clean energy projects that create jobs and that use American know-how to improve our economy.”

The FBO terminal is not the only building that received LEED certification. The 12,000 square foot aircraft hangar which is co-located on the West Side Aviation Campus was certified by U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED Gold facility. The hangar also contains numerous sustainable features, including:

  • All steel beams in the structure and the sheeting contain recycled materials
  • 95% of all construction waste was recycled
  • Contains a high energy efficiency infrared system
  • Unique day lighting structure with windows in the hangar facility

“The Chattanooga Airport’s LEED certification of the new FBO campus demonstrates tremendous leadership in the sustainability movement,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “These new FBO facilities efficiently use our natural resources and make an immediate, positive impact on our planet and this community, which will benefit future generations.”

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield reflected on the city’s evolution from a center of pollution to the gold standard of sustainability. “The environmental transformation of our region would not be possible without leadership from partners like the Chattanooga Airport,” he said. “Projects like this one help us fulfill Chattanooga’s brand promise of being a progressive, innovative and green community.”