Consulting Engineering

Louisville Muhammad Ali Intl. Airport

Louisville Regional Airport AuthorityLouisville, Kentucky

The Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport’s (SDF) geothermal project is part of the SDF Next Program which is providing $400 million for improvements to the terminal and airfield in the coming years. Once complete, they are targeting a 45% energy reduction overall.

SDF understands that the aviation industry plays a major role in climate change and has made it its mission to be a sustainability ambassador within that. With this knowledge, the SDF Next Program includes sustainability as a large focus area. Which led the airport to partner with CMTA to assess their aging systems and develop solutions for the future. The airport chose innovative and sustainable replacement solutions that lower operating costs and explore renewable energy resources – this includes a geothermal HVAC system. The geothermal option is a shift from gas to electric and allows for renewables such as solar and full terminal generator backup. The FAA also awards VALE grants for carbon reduction, which will pay for a large portion of the geothermal wellfield.

SDF’s geothermal system will heat and cool the 400,000 square-foot Jerry E. Abramson terminal building with 648 wells, each drilled 500 feet deep, making this the largest geothermal project of any U.S. airport. This is equivalent to planting 500 acres of trees!

Other project benefits include:

  • Healthier and more comfortable environment for travelers
  • 80% carbon footprint reduction
  • $400,000 in heating and cooling cost savings annually
  • Increased outside air providing a healthier and more comfortable environment for travelers and employees
  • Less maintenance required over time
  • Geothermal wellfield is sized for future terminal expansion (100,000 sq for LRAA)

As CMTA and SDF continue to achieve the goals within the Sustainability Focus Areas, the hope is to inspire other airports and larger organizations to set their own goals, assess their systems, and take action within their own abilities. Together, we are committed to providing a healthy, positive, educational, and welcoming environment for travelers and team members as SDF strives to improve its environmental impact and “be the best in the country.”

We are very pleased that we selected CMTA to oversee the planning and implementation of the terminal-concourse upgrades at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport. The CMTA team has been very professional, creative, diligent, and transparent.

Brian Sinnwell

LRAA Senior Vice President & COO