Jackson Hole Airport Receives the Jay Hollingsworth Speas Award


October 28, 2021


Jackson Hole Airport Receives the Jay Hollingsworth Speas Award

Award recognizes airport commitments to environments and community


Jackson, Wyoming – Earlier this month, the Jackson Hole Airport was honored to be the recipient of the Jay Hollingsworth Speas Award at the National Airport’s Conference in Savannah, Georgia.

The Jay Hollingsworth Speas Airport Award was established in 1983 by R. Dixon Speas and Ms. Speas in honor of their son, Jay. Jay was interested in improving environmental relationships between the airports, both civil and military, and the communities they served.  This award is given annually to the person or persons judged to have contributed most significantly in recent years to the enhancement of relationships between airports and/or heliports and other surrounding environments via exemplary innovation that might be replicated elsewhere.

The Airport was honored to be presented the award by Jay’s brother Dirk Speas. Dirk commented that nominations for this award are usually based on one project or initiative. He noted the combination of JAC’s work on waste diversion and recycling, air quality and emissions reductions, water quality, and wildlife is a spectacular example of how a range of environmental initiatives can be achieved and hoped JAC’s accomplishments would encourage other airports to pursue a variety of projects in the future.

The Jackson Hole Airport Board and staff have worked diligently to implement numerous initiatives and programs to protect the natural environment, support passengers, staff, and the local community, and to employ resiliency in every aspect of their work. Highlights the Airport’s recent sustainability achievements include:

  • Waste Diversion and recycling. The Airport Board, in alignment with Teton County and Grand Teton National Park (GTNP), established an aggressive goal of diverting 60% of its waste from the landfill by 2030. In just over two years, the airport has more than doubled its waste diversion rate (from 18% to 38%).
  • Air Quality and Emissions Reduction. The Airport Board has implemented multiple initiatives to reduce emissions, including receiving a grant from the Volkswagen Settlement grant program to replace an older piece of snow removal equipment with a cleaner burning unit. The Airport Board also joined the Good Traveler Program to provide carbon offset opportunities to Jackson passengers and to offset all Airport Board employee work-related travel, along with all work commuting miles for Airport Board employees. To date the airport has offset 1,183 metric tons of carbon.
  • Water Quality. The airport worked with consultants and stakeholders to construct a state-of-the-art fuel and glycol facility with above ground, double-walled tanks and a containment system to protect water quality. The Board approved the installation of an airport-wide underground stormwater detention and filtration system, which allows all stormwater to be filtered prior to leaving the property, thus protecting the Class I watershed that exists in Jackson.
  • Wildlife. The airport coordinated with GTNP to develop a Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat Restoration Plan that identifies strategies to protect both birds and aircraft. Two historic lek sites were restored and a satellite lek off-airport was developed to restore brood-rearing habitat and to safely draw hens outside of the airport boundary.

The Airport shared their recently updated environmental initiatives video at the award reception. The new video can be viewed on the airport’s website using the following link: https://www.jacksonholeairport.com/airport-guide/environmental-initiatives/

“We are humbled to have received the Speas Award, recognizing the hard work of our Airport Board and staff,” says Executive Director Jim Elwood. “Our commitment to being a sustainable leader drives our decisions and culture here at the Airport, and we will continue to work to be an environmental leader in our community.”