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Readers GreenMachine and JR point out that there are other factors, in addition to recycling, which need to be addressed vigilantly in order to make San Diego, and society as whole, greener and more sustainable. 

Waste reduction and recycling efforts do help minimize greenhouse gas emissions.  But we, too, recognize these are just some of the measures needed to address an airport’s overall carbon footprint.  The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated that the aviation industry contributes to about 3.5 percent of global warming caused by human activities.

Aviation’s most significant contribution comes from the combustion of jet fuel during aircraft flights, which produces greenhouse gases predominantly in the form of carbon dioxide.  Other aviation sources of greenhouse gases include emissions from airport ground service equipment, airport-related transportation vehicles (e.g., shuttles, buses, trucks and autos), energy used in airport buildings, airport construction projects, and aircraft manufacturing. 

Understanding this, the Airport Authority is now in the process of assessing a carbon footprint for San Diego International Airport (SDIA) and developing programs to reduce our overall greenhouse gas emissions, which come from both aircraft and airport operations. 

In all our efforts, we strive for SDIA to serve as a role model for best sustainable practices in the region and in the aviation industry.  We see the Airport Authority as part of a much larger community and recognize that, when it comes to the matter of global warming and greenhouse gas emissions, we are all part of the problem, and all part of the solution.

— PAUL MANASJAN

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