Protecting the world around us.Sea-Tac is one of the nation’s fastest-growing airports, and we grow sustainably—making choices to protect air and water quality, promote the use of renewable and sustainable fuels, minimize waste, reduce noise, protect wildlife, and save energy and other valuable resources. Many of our current construction projects are designed and built using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and other sustainable building performance measures. As we work towards our sustainability goals, we look for opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for climate change impacts, promote energy and water conservation, and minimize the amount of waste going into landfills. We routinely recycle 90 percent of construction waste from many of our capital projects. What’s more, Sea-Tac is making some of our biggest sustainability gains at a time when we’re also taking on the skyrocketing travel demands of the booming region. In fact, we’re the first North American airport to attain carbon certification by Airports Council International, for managing and reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, by the Airport Council International, and we’ve maintained this certification since 2014.
Air and Water
Down on the ground and up in the air, we’re choosing fuels wisely— and using as little as possible. This helps protect the air and water. For example, we’ve installed infrastructure at all our gates that provides heated/cooled air, and electricity to the aircraft cabin, which lets the pilot turn off the auxiliary engine and reduce idling. Also, taxis picking up passengers at our airport must use high-efficiency vehicles (45 MPG or better) or alternative fuel vehicles. App-based ride services such as Lyft and Uber must also meet the equivalent environmental performance of taxis for picking up passengers. And, we’ve installed over 300 charging stations on the airfield to encourage our airlines and baggage companies to convert their ground service equipment (baggage tugs, ramps, and pushback vehicles) from fossil fuel to electric. This currently saves over 5,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and is projected to save 10,000 tons when implemented airport-wide. We treat stormwater to keep fuel and other hazardous products from draining to Puget Sound and creeks— important because one inch of rain equals 11 million gallons of stormwater runoff at Sea-Tac.
Animals and Aviation
Sea-Tac stands out in commitment to wildlife, as well. As the first U.S. airport to employ a full-time wildlife biologist, we’re one of the original U.S. airports to relocate raptors (birds of prey, usually young hawks, kestrels, and owls) to safe homes away from planes—rescuing nearly 100 raptors each year. Sea-Tac is the first and leading airport conducting “avian radar research” to prevent planes from hitting birds – using radar to spot birds early and get them to move. We even keep beehives, to help raise healthy Northwest honeybees in open space around the airport.Learn more about sustainability efforts at the Port of Seattle.