The operator of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac Airport), the Port of Seattle, has begun a new electrification project, which will cut millions of dollars of fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
The airport authority, Alaska Airlines, Western Washington Clean Cities and US Representative Adam Smith has unveiled the project providing about 600 electric charging stations across the airport for ground support equipment (GSE) like baggage tugs, bag ramps and pushback vehicles.
The project is expected to save $2.8m in airline fuel costs and 10,000t of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of eliminating 1,900 cars off roads.
The Port of Seattle has installed bright yellow charging corrals with fast-charging plug-ins for vehicles in order to receive a full charge in less than four hours.
The technology indentifies the vehicles which need the most charge and meters out the power.
This initial phase adds 296 charging stations across concourse D, C, and the north satellite, with the second phase expected to include the remaining terminal at concourse A, B, and the south satellite for a total of 576 charging locations by September this year.
Port of Seattle commission co-president Courtney Gregoire said: "This project provides the infrastructure for airlines to convert their vehicles from diesel to electric in Sea-Tac's effort to become the first major airport in the US to provide charging stations at all gates
"As many as 650 vehicles could eventually be covered by electric technology and make a huge difference in the airport's carbon footprint."
Alaska Airlines is leading the project with 204 electric vehicles in operation on the ground at Sea-Tac.
The $31m project is primarily funded through federal grants.
Image: Alaska Airlines is leading the project with 204 electric vehicles in operation on the ground at Sea-Tac. Photo courtesy of PRNewsFoto/Alaska Airlines.