Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) was awarded the General Aviation Project of the Year by the Southeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives at their annual meeting in Mobile, Ala. last week.
AVL was recognized for its creative use of a regional partnership to efficiently, effectively and safely conduct a major fill project that created 15 usable acres of aeronautical use land on the airport campus, on the north side near Interstate 26. The fill project combined the resources and talents of multiple organizations to design and undertake an EPA-encouraged beneficial use program utilizing coal combustion by-products (called CCBs) for engineered-fill material. The project allowed the airport to import 840,000 cubic yards of CCBs from the nearby Progress Energy electric generating plant. This eliminated the need to utilize the earth's natural resources while creating the additional acres of buildable land - all at a significant cost savings to the airport.
In the process of generating electricity, coal-fired power plants such as Progress Energy's Asheville Plant, generate CCBs. As part of Progress Energy's commitment to the environment, the company seeks to reuse the by-products in a safe and responsible manner. The airport's fill project - which not only provided a location for the CCBs, but also did so while exceeding recommended environmental and engineering requirements - was a perfect match for the reuse of the material.
"The partnership between the Airport and Progress Energy was beneficial for us both. Progress Energy found an environmentally-sound way to reuse the coal combustion by-product, and the Airport saved millions of dollars in costs that traditional fill methods would have required," said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., Airport Director. "The airport industry recognized that our project was a creative solution for all involved, and I am pleased with their recognition of our project."
The Southeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives consists of over 450 members from 12 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The association is guided by a nine-member Board of Directors, and is committed to promoting the professionalism and financial stability in the administration of airports.