Environmental stewardship is a hallmark of operations at San Diego International Airport (SDIA), which is operated by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. In fact, the Airport Authority instituted one of the first sustainability policies for a major airport in the U.S. This formalized the Airport Authority’s commitment to an environmentally sustainable future for the airport and the region.
The Airport Authority is committed to building and operating sustainably, and strives to protect the wide variety of natural resources that exist at SDIA’s location.
The Environmental Affairs Department manages all environmental-related programs, including airport planning and environmental review, regulatory compliance, water and air quality, site remediation, hazardous material handling and natural resources protection. The department interfaces with other Airport Authority departments to assess potential environmental impacts of all proposed projects. The department is also responsible for long-range airport facility planning, including the San Diego International Airport Master Plan.
As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability, the Airport Authority is proud that in 2011, SAN was the first airport in the U.S.A. to issue a sustainability report based on the internationally recognized criteria of the Global Reporting Initiative.
For more information, please contact the department directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As operators of San Diego International Airport, we recognize the inextricable link between water resources and our viability as an airport enterprise, and are keenly aware that this interdependence warrants a bold strategy to ensure our sustainability into the future. The Water Stewardship Plan (WSP) establishes our vision to be a leading, world-class steward of water resources and to operate in harmony with the natural water cycle of the San Diego Bay region. The aim of the WSP is to provide a framework for rethinking how we manage our water resources while we prepare to accommodate passenger growth, new airport developments, and a changing climate. Specifically, the plan addresses issues of water conservation, water quality, and flood risk considerations.
The draft Water Stewardship Plan can be found here.
For more information or to offer feedback on the WSP, please contact us at 619.400.2791 or email@example.com.
The Strategic Energy Plan (STEP) establishes our approach to being a leading, world‐class thought leader in the provision of cost effective, energy resiliency strategies that are environmentally responsible and fully aligned with Airport operations and development. It addresses key issues of energy efficiency and conservation; on-site energy generation and storage; enhanced monitoring of key energy metrics; and mechanisms through which to actively engage the broad spectrum of Airport stakeholders. STEP will ultimately allow the Airport to establish more dependable energy sources, while offsetting greenhouse gas emissions.
The draft Strategic Energy Plan can be found here.
For more information or to offer feedback on the STEP, please contact us at 619.400.2791 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s Procurement Department has a goal in achieving sustainability to maximize environmental benefits of the Authority’s activities by encouraging the procurement of services and products to: integrate fiscal responsibility and environmental stewardship; reduce toxicity; reduce energy and water consumption; reuse existing products or materials in product or service life cycle; implement, integrate and maximize durability and maintenance requirements; conserve natural resources, materials and energy, and; maximize recyclability and recycled content.
The Sustainable Statement & Resource Guide is available here.
For more information or to offer feedback on environmentally preferable purchasing, please contact us at 619.400.2782 or email@example.com.
The Airport Authority has used a single stream-recycling program since 2003-collecting all recyclable materials in the same container makes it much easier for everyone visiting the airport participate in the program. We continue to focus on new and improved ways of recycling and diverting waste here at San Diego Internal Airport. The Authority’s sustainability goals intend to increase recycling and to simultaneously reduce our solid waste disposal needs.
The Airport Authority works diligently to protect the natural resources on and around the airport facilities and in the surrounding community. The Airport Authority is proud to provide a protected habitat for the endangered California least tern, a migrating seabird that finds nesting opportunities along the southeastern property line of the airport. The Airport Authority also seeks to prevent, eliminate, and minimize the impacts of stormwater runoff on eel grass beds that grow in San Diego Bay near the storm drain outfalls.
The San Diego International Airport is home to the California least tern (Sterna antillarum browni, “CLT”), a federally listed endangered seabird species. The airport provides the CLT with nesting habitat and easy access to foraging opportunities in nearby San Diego Bay. There are several other nesting areas around San Diego Bay, and the Airport Authority works cooperatively with the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the Port of San Diego, the US Navy to protect the CLT and its habitat. Click here to learn more about the CLT.
The Airport Authority continues to work with the Port of San Diego and the San Diego Zoological Society’s Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES) to monitor the CLT on the Airport Authority’s properties. Click here for more information.
San Diego International Airport is responsible for administering approximately 661 acres of public lands on the shore of San Diego Bay. The Storm Water Management Plan is a major element of the Airport's commitment to preventing, eliminating, and reducing the discharge of polluted storm water into the surrounding environment and San Diego Bay. The Stormwater Management Plan is directed at those activities of the Airport Authority itself, as well as those of the airlines and other airport tenants, that have the potential to cause stormwater pollution.
The Storm Water Management Plan is designed to control the pollutants generated by everyday operation of the airport, including: trash, litter and debris; petroleum products that might leak from aircraft and motor vehicles; heavy metals potentially contained in the dust from brake pads, rubber tires, engine exhaust; and the fertilizers and pesticides used to maintain the airport's landscape and facilities.
The Environmental Affairs Department is responsible for ensuring implementation of the Storm Water Management Plan. The Environmental Affairs Department also works with the Airport Facilities Maintenance Department and the Facilities Development Department to make sure that the airport stormwater conveyance system is clean and operational. The Environmental Affairs Department is responsible for monitoring the quality of stormwater runoff from the Airport. In addition, the Department is responsible for the preparation of the Annual Reports.
Recently, the regulations and permits related to stormwater management and control have required that best management practices (BMPs) be designed into new development and redevelopment projects. Throughout San Diego County, new development and redevelopment projects of particular types and sizes must be designed in accordance with what are known of locally as the “BMP Design Manuals” requirements. At the San Diego International Airport, Airport Authority and tenant projects that meet the project type and size criteria must be developed in accordance with the Airport Authority's BMP Design Manual.
To discuss the applicability of these requirements to your project, please call 619-400-2782 or email the Environmental Affairs department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federal and state stormwater regulations have recently begun to focus on fostering more coordinated efforts among permitted entities to control regional impacts on local water bodies. Sitting on the shore of San Diego Bay, with stormwater runoff from the San Diego International Airport flowing into the Bay, the Airport Authority is working with the Port of San Diego, the County of San Diego, and the cities of Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, and San Diego to control the stormwater pollutants being generated daily within the 415 square mile San Diego Bay watershed. For additional information on these regional efforts, please visit the Project Clean Water web page for the San Diego Bay watershed.
The Industrial Activities Annual Report is submitted by July 1 of each year and describes the activities conducted to control stormwater discharges associated with industrial activities. The Municipal Activities Annual Report is submitted by January 31 of each year and describes the activities conducted to control stormwater discharges associated with municipal activities.
On January 1, 2003, the Authority became the new owner and operator of SDIA, a role previously held by the Port of San Diego. Due to this transfer of responsibility, the Airport Authority was required to obtain it's own coverage under the appropriate permits and prepare the associated documentation required as part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program of the Clean Water Act.
As a Responsible Party within the San Diego Bay Watershed, the Airport Authority works toward improved water quality in MS4 discharges and receiving waters. Read more in The San Diego Bay Watershed Water Quality Improvement Plan.
If you spot any landscape runoff or broken sprinklers at SAN, please contact us ASAP with the incident location at 619-400-2710.
In compliance with the Regional MS4 Permit (AKA the “Municipal Stormwater Permit”), the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority prohibits over-irrigation discharges into storm drains. Over-irrigation has been found to be a source of pollutants such as nutrients, bacteria, pesticides and sediment and therefore, excessive landscape irrigation is prohibited on the airport campus. Additionally, the Authority values the conservation and protection of water as a resource. Whether the region is in a formal state of drought or not, the Authority follows the lead of our local water supply agency (the City of San Diego) and avoids wasteful practices, like over-irrigation.
The Authority works to prevent over-irrigation and the discharge of pollutants from over-irrigation in many ways. First, we don’t water when we don’t have to. The airport’s state-of-the-art weather track system collects and analyzes data from multiple weather stations to determine watering needs. The system shuts off irrigation when we have rainfall. This save approximately 9 million gallons of water in unnecessary irrigation each year and prevents us from overwatering. Second, the Authority and the Facilities Maintenance Department (FMD) have designated personnel to ensure our irrigation system is working properly. The certified irrigation technician performs inspections throughout the day to assure all systems are functioning as designed and there is no over-irrigation. Facilities Maintenance staff are available 24/7 to respond to over-irrigation incidents. If there is an incident involving excess water that cannot be easily fixed, FMD staff will shut down the entire system within an hour. FMD flags all issues and performs correct actions within 12-24 hours. Third, the Authority embraces xeriscaping, or drought-tolerant landscaping, and drip irrigation watering systems that both cut down on water usage and prevent the likelihood and occurrences of over-irrigation.
The Airport Authority engages employees, tenants, and contractors to prevent and report over-irrigation. The Communication Center, Airport Operations, Facilities Management, Planning and Environmental Affairs are trained to respond to over-irrigation. Employees and the public can report over-irrigation incidents to our Communication Center or to Environmental Affairs. Airport employees and Authority staff are informed of the over-irrigation prohibition at outreach events, all-hands meetings, and through email and tenant information notices. We encourage our employees, tenants, contractors, and the public to contact us if you spot over-irrigation on Airport premises. Please contact us with the incident location at 619-400-2710 or email@example.com.
This Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP) was prepared by the Airport Authority in accordance with the requirements of two NPDES storm water permits:
Pursuant to these permits, the Storm Water Management Plan serves as a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) in terms of the Industrial Permit and a Jurisdictional Runoff Management Program (JRMP) document in terms of the Municipal Permit. In general, this document is a written account of the overall program to be conducted by the Airport Authority to comply with the requirements of these storm water permits.
As San Diego International Airport continues to meet the air travel demands of a growing region, the impacts of growth and development have been identified and analyzed in various studies. In an effort to continue this type of analysis and a proactive approach, an Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) has been prepared by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (SDCRAA) for San Diego International Airport. The AQMP assists SDCRAA in meeting local, state and federal air quality regulations and contributes valuable data and analysis to the San Diego region as existing and future air quality compliance measures are addressed.
The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board approved the AQMP on December 3, 2009, as shown in the following resolution:
Click here to view the Ground Transportation Vehicle Conversion Incentive-Based Program, adopted by the Airport Authority Board on March 4, 2010.
The purpose of the AQMP is to:
This AQMP includes several integral components:
The purpose of the Air Emissions Inventory at SDIA is to compile a current and accurate database of emissions produced by the operation of landside and airside vehicles at SDIA. This database provides important data and was essential in making significant contributions towards the formulation and preparation of a successful air quality management program.
Air emissions at airports are produced by vehicular traffic (cars, shuttle busses, taxis, trucks, public transit vehicles, etc.), aircraft, GSE, and emergency generators. All of these producers of emissions have different operational characteristics. For example, certain pieces of GSE can idle for extensive lengths of time, while a diesel-powered generator is only used during an emergency or power-outage. A generator such as this is permitted and is periodically tested.
The purpose of the GSE Inventory at SDIA is a simple one. An accurate and up to date inventory of existing and future GSE at SDIA is essential in order to make significant contributions towards the formulation and preparation of a successful air quality management program. GSE are usually owned by an airline and/or a fixed base operator (FBO). Because GSE idle for extensive lengths of time, they contribute to the overall emissions produced by the operation of an airport.
The Taxi and Shuttle Inventory at SDIA was prepared to provide an accurate and up to date inventory of existing taxi and shuttle vehicles that operate at the Airport. Including these vehicles in the overall AQMP ensures a comprehensive analysis towards the formulation and preparation of a successful air quality management program.
Agency coordination is an important part of development projects initiated by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority for SDIA. As an integral part of both short and long-term development initiatives, AQMP agency coordination has consisted of extensive coordination with the Air Pollution Control District County of San Diego (APCD) and the California Air Resource Board (CARB). The participation of these agencies on AQMP issues has yielded significant contributions towards improving the existing and future air quality scenario at SDIA.
The following is a list of agencies that have been contacted or have contacted SDIA regarding the AQMP:
Public Outreach is and will continue to be an important element of the AQMP. The information on this website will help to keep the public apprised of the status of the preparation of the AQMP, as well as the contents of the overall Plan.
All projects at San Diego International Airport must undergo environmental review as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the Authority must coordinate with federal agencies on review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
In addition, since San Diego International Airport is located entirely within California's Coastal Zone, the Coastal Act of 1976 requires that any development at the airport receive a coastal development permit or an exemption from permit requirements. The Airport Authority is responsible for complying with the Coastal Act and seeks permits or permit exemptions for all development occurring at the airport.
The Airport Authority recognizes that development projects at San Diego International Airport have potential impacts on noise, transportation, water quality, endangered species and other resources. The Airport Authority takes its role as an environmental steward seriously and is committed to utilizing the environmental review process to identify and avoid or minimize impacts to the environment.
Projects requiring environmental review are included in the chart below. Past projects, such as the Master Plan, are included as well.
The Airport Authority has completed a Notice of Preparation for the ADP Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Scoping comments are due by March 1, 2017.
To download a copy of the Notice of Preparation, click here.