October 16, 2014

NGVs as Far as the Horizon at DFW Airport

If you’ve ever been to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, chances are you’ve either ridden in or seen a natural gas vehicle (NGV) at work.

The airport operates a total fleet of about 1,000 vehicles and around 450 of those are alternative fuel vehicles.

“We’ve got everything you can think of,” says Robert Heller, vehicle fleet programs manager at the airport.

Robert says the airport was a natural gas pioneer, and started to purchase NGVs 14 years ago because of environmental concerns from emissions and to cut down on fuel costs.

“I’ve been with it from the beginning – it’s been really good,” Robert says.
DFW Airport's fleet includes many different models of natural gas vehicles, including these Westport WiNG Power System Ford E-450 Shuttle Buses.
DFW Airport NGV fleet is diverse – it’s comprised of wide array of vehicles from pickup trucks like their lineup of compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered Ford F-150s all the way up to F-550s, passenger cars, dump trucks, shuttle and transit buses.

Out of this sizeable selection of alternative fuel vehicles, half are powered by the Westport WiNG™ Power System, including the pickups and shuttle buses. There are also shuttle buses running with the Cummins Westport 8.9L ISL G engine at the airport.

The natural gas shuttles are used for passenger transport, transporting them from the rent-a-car centre, to terminals to parking lots, to the DART train, free of charge. The pickups are used to provide maintenance and customer service on the airport grounds.

Robert says he’s starting to phase out his model year 2000 NGVs because the fuel tanks are now expiring. The shuttle buses are replaced every few years due to high mileage demands.

The DFW Airport fleet fuels at three public Clean Energy stations, two of which are located on airport property and one is just outside.

All airport employees who drive or maintain NGVs receive training on how to operate the vehicles and practice safe fuelling procedures with CNG. Robert took a CNG certification training course and he has trained fleet and maintenance managers at DFW Airport.

Looking ahead, the airport expects to continue equipping its fleet with NGVs – Robert says they’ve placed an order for additional 71 CNG buses from Westport.

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