San Diego International Airport begins using renewable diesel

By San Diego International Airport | April 19, 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 percent.

“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.




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