Seattle Port Commission publishes greenhouse gas inventory for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
(photo: Courtesy of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport)
Thu 27 Mar 2008 – The Port of Seattle has published a wide-ranging inventory of GHG emissions resulting from both ground and aircraft operations at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in 2006. Its commissioners have directed its own staff to establish reduction targets at the airport based on the inventory, and have also called for greater federal involvement in efforts to cut aviation emissions.
“The airport is one of the first in the country to conduct a conduct a comprehensive GHG inventory – but it is only the first step in a robust effort to reduce the environmental impact of the facility,” said Commission President John Creighton. “We know that aircraft emissions are a significant source of greenhouse gases and any credible GHG reduction strategy must address those emissions. We expect continued growth in the number of travellers using Sea-Tac, and as more people fly more often, we must work quickly to implement effective ways of protecting our region’s air quality while supporting the region’s demand for efficient air travel.”
The Commission, which oversees both Seattle’s major airport and seaport, called for increased federal action in the areas of airspace protocols that help reduce fuel consumption and increased funding for research into aircraft propulsion. In addition, it supported California’s call for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop global warming regulations for aircraft.
Port staff members have been directed to work with “aviation partners” to set measurable targets for emissions reductions by the end of 2008. If no targets are developed, the Commission says it may consider carbon offsets or fees. It has instructed the airport to conduct GHG inventories every five years to measure the effectiveness of emissions-reduction efforts.
The 72-page inventory is a useful document for any airport wishing to calculate its emissions as it provides figures for every type of ground operation taking place at Seattle-Tacoma over the course of a year, including emissions caused by public transportation as well as airside vehicles and ground support equipment. Emissions from aircraft operations are apportioned according to the landing and takeoff cycle (LTO) fuel burn.
The inventory has calculated that in 2006 nearly 4.7 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions were identified as a result of direct and indirect airport activities.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport handled more than 31 million passengers in 2007, which ranked it as the 18th busiest airport in the United States.