Sea-Tac Airport is changing how it cools and heats planes at the gate, which will reduce emissions and fuel use. The Seattle area airport will deliver Pre-Conditioned Air (PC Air) through a centralized plant to aircraft during boarding and deplaning. No longer will planes have to use their auxiliary power, which emit CO2 gases and other emissions and add to airline fuel costs. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
Annual emissions will be reduced by 40,000 metric tons, “the equivalent of taking 8,000 cars off the road,” and airlines fuel consumption will drop by an estimated five million gallons. And nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions will be reduced by 73 tons.
“Pre-conditioned air is truly a win-win for the airport, airlines and the surrounding community,” said Elizabeth Leavitt, director of Planning & Environmental Management, Sea-Tac Airport. “This long-range investment by the airport will save money for the airlines, reduce our carbon footprint, clean the air of emissions and reduce noise for our neighbors,” (Sea-Tac news release).
Wait, what about lifecycle emissions?
Glad you asked. The airport gets about 90% of its power from hydro-electric dams and 10 percent from renewable energy and nuclear sources. So the lifecycle is pretty environmentally sound.
Airlines, Feds helped fund the project
The port notes it used “the largest federal grant of its kind to offset the costs of the $43 million project. Nearly $22 million is covered by Voluntary Airport Low Emissions Grants from the Federal Aviation Administration. Airport Development Funds, which come directly from fees charged to airlines, will pay the remainder. These fees will be offset by decreasing operating costs for a projected payback for the project in less than three years.”
The project is part of the Port’s Century Agenda, which strives to “generate 100,000 new jobs and increase international trade and tourism, while protecting the environment with innovative sustainability initiatives.”
Watch a video (about two minutes long) describing the new service and its benefits.