The Planes initiative focuses on operating safe and secure airports, maximizing airfield efficiency, and maintaining a competitive cost structure. Wayne County Airport Authority runs a successful deicing fluid recycling program and has utilized sustainable construction certifications for recent airfield and building projects. These projects contribute to increased airfield efficiency and reduced operational building costs.
Detroit Metropolitan Airport operates the largest Aircraft Deicing Fluid (ADF) Management System in the world and has recycled more propylene glycol (the primary component of ADF) than any airport worldwide, during 12 of the last 15 deicing seasons. The recycled propylene glycol is used in the production of plastics and paints. The drainage system at DTW is constructed to completely isolate aircraft deicing runoff from general airport stormwater runoff. The deicing runoff is then recycled or treated at sanitary sewage treatment plants.
The Runway 4L/22R and Associated Taxiways Reconstruction project received the Envision Rating System Silver award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure in 2016. The reconstructed runway project included a reduction of existing impervious surfaces, reused stormwater for dust control, reused a portion of the excavated material, and included installation of LED lights and signage.