Four utility trucks and five pick-up trucks fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) will be added to the fleets at Los Angeles International (LAX) and LA/Ontario International (ONT) airports.

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners approved a contract Aug. 15 to purchase the nine vehicles to replace similar fossil-fuel-powered vehicles in use at the airports.

The $411,704 contract was awarded to Santa Margarita Ford. Once purchased, three of the utility trucks and one pick-up truck will be used at LAX and one utility truck and four pick-up trucks will be used at ONT, airport officials said.

“We believe that alternative-fuel vehicle use is an important element to meeting California’s future energy needs and we are well on our way to converting our entire inventory to its use,” said Ralph Morones, director of the Maintenance Services Division at Los Angeles World Airports.

LAWA adopted an alternative-fuel vehicle program in 1999 that encourages replacement of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles and equipment with alternative-fuel vehicles, whenever possible and feasible.

CNG-powered vehicles, including pickup trucks, utility trucks, street sweepers, recycling collection vehicles and other conveyances, are now used daily at LAWA’s airports. Several liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered heavy-duty trucks are also in operation at LAWA facilities.

Morones noted that the airport agency presently has more than 685 alternative-fuel vehicles, or approximately 60 percent of its fleet, powered by sources other than gasoline or diesel fuels.

At LAX, 63 percent of the fleet, or 660 vehicles, use alternative fuels, including 61 courtesy shuttle buses powered by either CNG or LNG, Morones said.

The airport has an on-site LNG and CNG fueling station for LAWA-owned vehicles, and there is also a public CNG and hydrogen fueling station adjacent to LAX that is run by a private company.

To encourage the use of zero-emission, electric vehicles, free charging stations are available in Parking Structures 1 and 6 at LAX.