Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) is now providing pre-heated or cooled air to aircraft waiting at its gates. This is expected to reduce pollution and cut costs for airlines at the airport as the planes will be able to shut off their auxiliary power units while waiting.
The airport has built a centralized plant to cool and/or heat planes by piping air to all of its 73 gates through nearly 15 miles of ducts.
The “pre-conditioned” air is expected to lead to annual fuel-savings for the airlines of an estimated 5 million gallons – worth nearly $15 million.
It will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40,000 metric tons as Sea-Tac gets about 90 percent of its power from hydro-electric dams and the rest from renewable energy and nuclear sources.
Pre-conditioned air from the airport will also reduce noise from parked planes and emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides.