With over 52 million passengers each year, Denver International Airport is one of the busiest hubs in the United States. Their NGV roots come from humble beginnings which began at Stapleton International Airport in the late 1980’s They needed to solve air quality problems arising from utilizing tunnels to transport airport baggage and other ground support equipment from satellite terminals to their main terminal. In January 1991, DIA conducted a series of emissions tests with CNG-equipped American Airlines baggage tractors and successfully verified that CNG tugs provided lower emissions than their gasoline counterpart and met OSHA permissible exposure limits.
Since this time, DIA has significantly expanded their NGV program, using approximately 1 million GGEs of CNG in 2013. The airport currently operates and maintains 165 NGVs, accounting for 16 percent of their fleet. These vehicles include buses, shuttles, sedans, light duty trucks and vans, sweepers, and scrubbers. Spurred by the airport’s success, many other companies operating in or around the airport have also switched to NGVs. Today, there are over 1,000 CNG vehicles supporting DIA operations including the airlines, non-DIA shuttles, rental car companies and other suppliers. These additional fleets are displacing at least 3 million GGEs per year.
To satisfy this load, six CNG stations are available on property providing fuel—five “behind the fence” and one open to the public which services at least 45 local companies.
DIA exemplifies the best in organizations that have vigorously promoted the use of natural gas vehicles for environmentally positive impacts, economic benefits and the use of an abundant domestic transportation fuel.