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Natural Gas Station Coming to Bush Airport


March 1, 2012



  © Houston Airport System
  The new refueling station at George Bush Intercontinental Airport will service the entire fleet of ecopark shuttle buses.
 
Houston Airports will soon open a new natural gas refueling station, as it looks to take yet another important step in minimizing its environmental footprint.

The station is located along Greens Road near George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and will be used to service the fleet of shuttle buses that support the ecopark parking operation by transporting passengers to one of the five terminals located at IAH.

In the spring of 2011, more than 30 new shuttle buses arrived at IAH, each of them designed to run on clean natural gas as opposed to traditional diesel fuel.

“It makes perfect sense to do this at the airport,” Houston Mayor Annise Parker said at a City Hall news conference touting the new vehicles. “These buses run 24/7 along a highly congested strip of road and we want to make sure that we put fewer and fewer particulates into the air.”

Since April 2011, those shuttle buses have traveled off-site for refueling, since no natural gas accommodations were available at IAH. But drivers will soon be able to travel to a single-pump refueling station located directly adjacent to the ecopark economy parking lot on J.F.K. Boulevard.

The switch to a natural gas fleet is expected to reduce the shuttle services’ fuel cost by 50 percent, and the savings will likely be even greater since the travel time associated with refueling is practically nonexistent. Houston Airports partnered with Apache Corporation in meeting the fuel needs of the new fleet. Apache agreed to build the fueling station but will now donate it to the City of Houston.

“There is no doubt that clean natural gas can improve the air quality,” says the CEO of Apache, G. Steven Farris. “It’s a cleaner burning fuel and it’s much more economical to use.”

Shuttle buses within the fleet collectively travel more than one-million miles per year and annually transport approximately 676,000 people.
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