1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to footer


Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 10:12 AM - For Immediate Release

SMF Receives $4.6M for Zero-Emission Busses

Sacramento, CA - The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded more than $431.8 million in grants to build safer, more sustainable and more accessible airports across the United States.

The funding from the final round of Fiscal Year 2021 Airport Improvement Program grants will pay for projects at 60 airports in 31 states plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Sacramento International Airport (SMF) received $4.6 million from the FAA to buy zero-emissions passenger shuttle buses and associated charging equipment.

“Developing and operating airports that interact responsibly with the environment is one of the key goals at the Sacramento County Department of Airports” said Cindy Nichol, Director of Airports for Sacramento County. “While the bus fleet conversion project is only one more step along the way toward net zero emissions, it is a considerable leap forward that provides benefits for SMF travelers as well as the community as a whole.”

SMF currently has five zero emission vehicle (ZEV) electric passenger shuttle buses in operation. Another five ZEV buses will go into service this fall - just in time for peak holiday travel. Eight more ZEV buses have been ordered and are scheduled to arrive next summer. Over the next several years, the entire fleet (35 buses) of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles will be converted to ZEV.

A typical CNG bus emits 219,083 pounds of greenhouse gases annually, the switch to technology without tailpipe emissions presents an unprecedented opportunity to reduce the airport’s carbon footprint and provide an enhanced transit experience for passengers.

In addition to the clear air quality benefits provided by the ZEV buses, there are also a number of other advantages over other carbon-powered vehicles. With a range of up to 330 miles per charge, short charging times, and less frequent maintenance, these buses can spend more hours in service and reduce wait times for SMF travelers. Electric vehicles are also much cleaner and quieter, giving travelers a smooth ride without any reduction in speed, performance, or comfort.

 “To get passengers where they need to be safely and sustainably, we must make ongoing investments in our aviation system. These grants will help fulfill our commitment to build a safer, more equitable and more sustainable future,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

The Airport Improvement Program receives approximately $3.2 billion in funding each year. The FAA awarded more than 1,700 grants in 2021. A complete listing of grants and AIP Grants Data by State is on the FAA website.

To learn more about SMF’s sustainability efforts, visit our website

The Sacramento County Department of Airports is responsible for planning, developing, operating and maintaining the county’s four airports: Sacramento International Airport, Executive Airport, Mather Airport and Franklin Field. Sacramento International Airport offers more than 155 daily nonstop flights on 12 domestic and international carriers to 36 destinations. The regional economic impact of the Sacramento County Department of Airports is more than $4 billion annually. For more information, visit