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Nicole Hall
Senior Communications Specialist

T: 619.400.2859
M: 858.531.2863

After hours and weekends please email or call the Airport Communications Center at 619.400.2710

San Diego International Airport Begins Using Renewable Diesel for Airside Equipment

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

The first shipment of renewable diesel has arrived at San Diego International Airport (SAN).

Renewable diesel can reduce emissions by up to 75 percent or more compared to petroleum diesel. The sustainable fuel is now being used in all diesel-powered airside (non-road) vehicles and equipment, such as baggage tugs, belt loaders, and firefighting vehicles. Approximately 30 percent of all airside diesel vehicles and equipment at SAN are now "alternative fuel" because of the switch from petroleum diesel to renewable diesel. With the addition of renewable diesel, the total percentage of alternative fuel vehicles and equipment at SAN (including electric, propane, and renewable diesel) is now 64%.

“San Diego International Airport is thrilled to begin using renewable diesel to reduce the airport’s carbon footprint, improve local air quality, and help meet our sustainability goals. We thank our airlines for their cooperation and partnership during this process,” said Kimberly Becker, President and CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.  

“SAN Fuel Company is proud to partner with San Diego County Regional Airport Authority to bring renewable diesel to SAN,” said Scott Carrington, Fuel Category Manager at Southwest Airlines and Chair of the SAN Fuel Company. “This partnership is a great example of collaboration between the airport and its airline business partners and it provides a model for others to replicate.”

What’s in renewable diesel?

Renewable diesel is a sustainable fuel made from vegetable oil, animal fats, and agricultural waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill.  It is chemically identical to fossil fuel-derived diesel, and considered a “drop-in” fuel, meaning no modifications are needed for its storage or to use it in diesel engines.

Renewable diesel fuel is delivered to the airport in a renewable diesel-powered truck and is an initiative within the Airport Authority’s Clean Transportation Plan.


Owned and operated by San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (Airport Authority), San Diego International Airport (SAN) is one of the busiest single-runway commercial service airports in the world and the third-busiest airport in California. SAN contributes nearly $12 billion in economic activity for the region by connecting the world to San Diego and San Diego to the world. In November 2021, the Airport Authority began construction on the New T1 which includes the replacement of the current Terminal 1, improvements to the airfield, improved transportation connectivity to the airport, and a new administration building. The New T1 program’s total project budget is $3.4 billion and is estimated to create between 15,000 to 20,000 construction-related jobs. For more information about the New T1 please visit For more information about SAN please visit



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