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Improving Air Quality and Reducing Carbon Emissions

Reducing Emissions

Sea-Tac Airport collaborates with our tenant airlines, service providers, and our community to reduce emissions. While a majority of pollution-causing emissions occur from sources not under our control, through these partnerships and the strong environmental goals of our organization, we are able to move people and goods more efficiently while improving our region's air quality and strengthening the businesses that operate at Sea-Tac Airport.

Some of our programs are highlighted below:

Greener Skies
The “Greener Skies” project focuses on Required Navigation Performance (RNP) which uses satellite-based flight guidance technology to descend the airplane more efficiently. Using RNP technology and continuous descent, also called an optimized profile descent, aircraft can descend from cruise altitude to a runway along a shorter, more direct flight path at low power. Alaska Airlines estimates the procedures will:
  • Cut fuel consumption by 1.6 million gallons a year
  • Reduce carbon emissions by 16,000 metric tons per year (the equivalent of taking 3,400 cars off the road every year)
  • Reduce aircraft over-flight exposure for some communities
Electric Ground Fleet
Thanks to a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Sea-Tac Airport has a jump start on being the first airport in the United States to fully electrify its fleet of 650 ground support vehicles. Beginning this year, Sea-Tac will add electric charging stations on the ramp for airplane ground support equipment, and replace 200 gas and diesel vehicles, the large petroleum consumers, with electric vehicles. The project is expected to:
  • Save more than 400,000 gallons of fuel per year
  • Reduce emissions by more than 4,500 metric tons per year
  • Activities controlled by Port of Seattle that produce emissions include:
    • Operation of fleet vehicles
    • Electricity use
    • Natural gas from operating boilers
    Green Fleet
    In 2010, the Port of Seattle earned a national Green Fleet award for its environmental practices, making it number 20 out of 100 in a nationwide survey of federal, state, and local vehicle fleets. The port achieved this award by:
    • Use of biodiesel
    • CNG and hybrid vehicles
    • Fleet policy which includes a green fleet section
    • Overall commitment to programs relating to air quality
    • Aggressive green practices at the port’s Marine Maintenance shop