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 pleased to present the first-ever annual Sustainability Report for San Diego International Airport, covering FY 2011. With this report, SDIA becomes the first airport in the U.S.A. to issue a sustainability report based on the internationally recognized criteria of the Global Reporting Initiative. The report is accessible online at http://sustain.san.org.
For more information, please contact the department directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 “SUSMP” (Standard Urban Stormwater Mitigation Plan) 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 SUSMP.
To discuss the applicability of these requirements to your project, please call 619-400-2782 or email the Environmental Affairs department at email@example.com.
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.
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 General Industrial Storm Water Permit and a Jurisdictional Urban Runoff Management Program (URMP) Document in terms of the San Diego 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.