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We’re Moving on Up…a Level

Thursday, October 6, 2022


Nothing can stop us…when it comes to our commitment to bettering the environment! Earlier this month, we were notified that San Diego International Airport (SAN) has achieved the highest level of certification under the Airports Council International’s Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) program – Level 4+ ‘Transition.’

Reaching this level is kind of a big deal, SAN is the only airport in California and one of only three North American airports to reach the rating. The airport achieved this certification through a series of programs that have increased the use of carbon-free electricity and all-electric vehicles, facilitated carbon-emission reductions by airline and rideshare partners, and enabled carbon-offset purchases by our passengers, among other efforts.

Some of the notable projects and initiatives SAN has successfully implemented that contributed to achieving Level 4+ include:

  • The Airport Authority was one of the first organizations to enroll in San Diego Community Power’s “Power100 Champions” program and now receives 100 percent renewable and carbon-free grid-delivered electricity to the entire SAN airport campus.
  • Transportation Network Companies (Uber, Lyft, etc.) conducting ridesharing services at SAN must meet an average fleetwide Greenhouse Gas Rating equivalent to the fuel efficiency of at least 52 miles per gallon by 2025.
  • In 2015, the Airport Authority developed and launched The Good Traveler, a carbon offsetting program designed to encourage sustainable travel by enabling individuals to offset the environmental impact of their journey in an affordable, easy, and meaningful way.
  • Through its stormwater capture and reuse system at Terminal 2 Parking Plaza, SAN has captured, treated, and reused more than four million gallons since the system was commissioned in 2018. In 2020, the Northside Stormwater Capture Cistern was completed and is designed to reuse approximately 16 million gallons annually with plans to use the captured water to wash cars at the Rental Car Center.
  • The Airport Authority has developed one of the largest zero-emission shuttle fleets in the region, with a total of 33 all-electric buses. These cleaner and quieter buses transport passengers between terminals, employees to remote parking lots, and transit riders between the Old Town Transit Center and the airport.
  • SAN has partnered with airports, airlines, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) producers, and other stakeholders to advocate for policies that would increase the use of low-carbon SAF to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the aviation sector.
  • The Airport Authority is working with our aviation partners to convert ground support equipment (GSE) to use lower-carbon alternative fuels. Airlines are expected to transition approximately 80 percent of their GSE to electric and renewable diesel by 2024.

To learn about other environmental goals and initiatives being done at the airport as well as how the Airport Authority is leading efforts in environmental, social, and economic stewardship, please visit which is the Airport Authority’s Sustainability Report.