The IAA is committed to environmental sustainability. Our goal is to minimize the impact of our operations on the environment by exploring continuous improvements and opportunities for innovation. We strive to act as responsible stewards of the environment at all times.
A Green Neighbor
In 2017, Indianapolis International Airport (IND) successfully received the Level 2 Reduction of the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) Program. This level of accreditation is given to airports that have provided evidence of effective carbon management procedures and show that reduction targets have been achieved.
In 2019, IND received Level 3 Optimization of the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) Program as well as Level 1 ACA certification for each Reliever Airport, making IND the largest accredited airport system in North America. Efforts to attain Level 3+ accreditation has
prompted IND to become one of only nine partners in the Good Traveler Program.
This initiative provides travelers a simple way to offset emissions resulting from
their flight. Long-term, our goal is to continually work to reduce our carbon footprint at IND to achieve all 4 Levels of Certification from the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA).
IND is the first airport in the nation to be awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for an entire terminal campus. LEED certification is given to facilities that are resource efficient, using less water and energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions into the environment.
- 100% of all IND public spaces receive natural daylight.
- IND is an eco-friendly home to the largest airport-based solar farm complex in the world, generating enough electricity to power over 3,675 average homes.
- More than 2,000 acres of airport land has been established as a conservation area, providing critical habitats for wildlife, including the endangered Indiana bat.
The relocation of the IND main terminal in 2008 resulted in drastic improvements in air quality surrounding the area. The proximity dramatically cuts aircraft taxi times and, consequentially, airline fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and passenger delays.
Through VALE (Voluntary Airport Low Emissions) grants, we have reduced air carrier pollution at the cargo apron by replacing diesel power units and lights with electric units and lights. Resulting in reducing our NOx (nitrogen oxides) emissions by 25.87 tons–the equivalent of removing 282 automobiles from the road! We’ve reduced air carrier pollution at the terminal by utilizing:
- Electric 400 MHz power
- Electric pre-conditioned air
This results in lower fuel consumption while loading passengers and baggage.
IND Solar Farm: Harvesting Power from the Sun
IND is home to the largest solar farm on any airport property in the world! 183 acres on IND airport property currently house 87,478 solar panels, enough energy to power 3,675 average American homes per year. The IND solar farm is a win-win for the community. It provides renewable energy to the electric grid and lowers emissions, improving our community’s air quality. It also lowers IND’s operating costs.
IND Solar Farm
The Indianapolis International Airport (IND) was recognized for using airport land to help build a sustainable community. The IND Solar Farm received a 2015 Indianapolis Sustainability Award from the City of Indianapolis and Mayor Greg Ballard. IND has the largest solar farm of any airport in the world and generates enough electricity to power 3,200 average homes.
Community Bee Apiary
In partnership with the White Lick Beekeepers Association, the IND Community Bee Apiary is housed on 4.7 acres of otherwise unused airport land. The apiary helps to preserve Indiana’s honeybee population and serves as a training site for future beekeepers. The site also serves an educational role for visitors from groups such as 4-H, and has been the focus of projects with local universities. This novel use of land is providing a bridge to the community that is supportive and engaging.
In 2017, the IND Community Bee Apiary was the recipient of the Airports Council International Environmental Achievement Awards in the award category of Outreach, Education and Community Involvement.
Electric Shuttle Bus Fleet
IND is now home to the largest airport electric bus fleet in the United States! By the end of 2019, the fleet will consist of 9 electric shuttle buses, made possible by IND receiving $18 million in a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) grant. These shuttle buses will reduce IND's carbon footprint by 15 million pounds and will save an estimated $2 million in operating and maintenance costs. With a 6 hour full charge and 120 miles per charge, the electric fleet will replace 66,000 gallons of diesel fuel a year. The electric shuttle bus fleet will benefit local communities and passengers by decreasing emissions and improving the air quality.
Creating a Sustainable Future
The IAA strives to make a positive impact on our neighboring environment.
The IAA created and manages conservation land to preserve and protect the endangered Indiana bat and wetland habitats. The land provides an educational facility for the study of Indiana’s endangered animal and plant species.
The IAA partnered with Hendricks County Parks & Recreation to create a 210-acre natural park. This community gem attracts over 100,000 visitors each year.
For complaints about noise, please contact the noise complaint hotline at 317.487.5000.
2013 Noise maps and report
IAA's noise mitigation program has dramatically reduced noise, stabilizing neighborhoods and property values while creating community goodwill. It is recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a model for other airports to follow.
Launched in 1987, the noise mitigation program includes an update initiative every five years. Previous noise exposure studies and maps are reviewed, with particular emphasis on air traffic and operational projections. Update studies were conducted in 1992, 1997, 2003, 2008, and 2013.
The analysis process of all relevant material gathered during the update process resulted in the production of an updated map of the airport's noise contours as forecast through 2018. This material was also used to analyze the effectiveness of the airport's existing noise compatibility plan.
The updated maps show minor differences between the existing conditions and future (2018) forecast conditions.
Ranked second in the nation at a commercial airport, this initiative has significantly reduced ground noise due to maintenance operations.
IND manages storm water runoff, keeping deicing fluid and other chemicals safely away from neighboring waterways. Low-flow water fixtures, low-maintenance landscaping and recirculation of water conserve millions of gallons each year.
The IAA is committed to minimizing or diverting materials from Local Land Services and improving the environment. IND’s terminal recycling program is robust, with a short-term goal of recycling over 20% of the 2,300 tons of waste material collected at the terminal each year.
By utilizing a single-stream recycling system, where glass, plastic, metal, paper and cardboard are collected together rather than separately, the airport increases efficiency and boosts participation by terminal customers.
Recycling is so important to IND, we even recycled our old terminal! When the terminal was demolished:
- 87,000 tons of concrete were reused or recycled
- 7,838 tons of miscellaneous metals were reused or recycled
- 87% of total materials were reused or recycled
The IAA is committed to managing its operations to reduce emissions and improve air quality. We continue to grow IND’s fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles and electric shuttle buses. We also provide our travelers with on-site Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicle fueling stations and electric car chargers in the parking garage.
In addition to the regular hybrid charging stations, complimentary Tesla Destination Charging stations were recently added to the parking garage. These will add 58 miles per hour of charging, compared to 4.5 miles per hour for the regular stations.
Through a Zero Emissions Airport Vehicle (ZEV) grant, IND purchased six electric shuttle buses and charging stations to establish the largest airport electric shuttle-bus fleet in the United States. When complete, this project will contribute to improve air quality and reduce the use of conventional fuels.