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Renewable fuel to lower emissions at San Diego International Airport


San Diego International Airport (SAN) has taken delivery of its first shipment of renewable diesel for the fleet of airside vehicles operating at the Californian gateway.

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority notes that renewable diesel can reduce emissions by up to 75% 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% of all airside vehicles and equipment at SAN are now “alternative fuel” because of the switch from petroleum diesel to renewable diesel. 

Kimberly Becker, president and CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, enthuses: “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.”

While Scott Carrington, fuel category manager at Southwest Airlines and chair of the SAN Fuel Company, notes: “SAN Fuel Company is proud to partner with San Diego County Regional Airport Authority to bring renewable diesel to SAN.

“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

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