Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Sea-Tac Airport's Environmental Goals Are Big, As Are Its Challenges

With millions of passengers coming and going each year, Sea-Tac International Airport operates like a small city. That means it also has a significant impact on the environment.

This week on “Going Places,” we’re riding around the ramp with airport officials as they show us what they’re trying to do to mitigate Sea-Tac's environmental impact.

The airport has a laundry list of environmental efforts underway. Director of Aviation Environmental Services Arlyn Purcell says they want to be the greenest airport in the country.

So there are some big goals – like becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and nudging the airlines toward using biofuels, which come from renewable resources, unlike standard jet fuel. You can read about some of those efforts at Sea-Tac Airport’s website.

There are also concerns. Neighbors worry about noise and emissions from the airport. Electric vehicle enthusiasts say there should be more and better charging stations available to them.

And for its part, the airport says it’s proud of the work it’s done so far, and plans to keep moving forward to improve the facility’s environmental impact.


This is the last of a three-part series on Sea-Tac Airport. You can hear the previous two parts through the links below. We’ll revisit Sea-Tac in future episodes of “Going Places.” If you have thoughts or concerns, please share them or e-mail "Going Places" is 88.5's weekly exploration of travel. Never miss an episode again. Subscribe to Going Places with iTunes Google Play or Stitcher.

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.