Press Kit

Environmental Policy and Practice

John Wayne Airport (JWA) is committed to upholding best practices in environmental management and has been an industry leader in implementing policies that provide both sustainability and cost effectiveness. JWA has adopted a variety of environmental policies and practices including:

Air Quality
JWA implements a variety of measures to reduce emissions generated by aircraft and vehicles using the Airport, including:

  • Encouragement of low-emission electric vehicle and support equipment usage on the commercial ramp.
  • Provision of electric preconditioned air units for commercial aircraft use and ground-based electrical power in place of jet-fueled on-board Auxiliary Power Units (APUs). The ground-based units burn about 10 times less fuel than APUs, resulting in lower costs and carbon emissions.
  • Use of electric charging stations for ground service equipment and Airport vehicles.
  • Use of fleet vehicles, such as taxi cabs and parking shuttles that operate clean burning compressed natural gas (CNG) and low emission vehicles.

JWA diverts more than three-quarters of the refuse from aircraft, the Thomas F. Riley Terminal, supporting facilities and construction projects.

  • Recycling containers are located throughout the Terminal for plastic, glass, aluminum and paper products.
  • Trash from aircraft is segregated off-site by JWA’s waste management contractor and recyclable materials are recycled or reused.
  • Paper waste from JWA offices is collected by a private contractor and recycled.
  • Food waste collection for composting is ongoing in the Terminal.
  • JWA and tenants recycle used fuel and oils.

Pollution Prevention/Water Quality
An Airport-wide Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) is strictly enforced and includes the following:

  • Diversion of airside storm water runoff through oil-water separators before leaving Airport property.
  • Rigorous testing of on-site fuel tanks to prevent leaks.
  • Regular training of Airport employees and tenants in containment, clean-up and pollution prevention techniques.
  • Use of site-specific structural and non-structural Best Management Practices to reduce the potential for pollutants to contaminate storm water discharges.
  • Monitoring of pesticides and fertilizers for appropriate use.

Energy Efficiency
JWA utilizes energy efficient design and materials both in the Terminal and on the airfield.

  • Terminal design includes vaulted ceilings, skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows to increase the use of natural light, reducing energy needs.
  • Use of LED lighting on the airfield that meets FAA safety standards and reduces both maintenance and energy costs.
  • Transition to LED lighting throughout the Terminal.
  • A Central Utility Plant which includes cogeneration infrastructure that provides chilled and hot water to the Terminal.

Water Conservation
JWA implements the following programs to reduce water consumption:

  • Utilization of low-flow toilets and urinals, and automatic faucets in the Terminal, Maintenance Building and the Eddie Martin Administration Building restrooms.
  • Recharge groundwater by directing water flows to a retaining basin.
  • Inspect for plumbing leaks and make repairs when necessary.
  • Use drip irrigation systems for landscaped areas.
  • No median irrigating around Airport.
  • Use “dry wash” methods for General Aviation aircraft.
  • Use a method for the valet car wash that uses approximately one cup of water per vehicle.
  • Diversion of runoff from construction sites and Airport grounds to an on-site retaining basin that directly recharges groundwater aquifers and reduces storm water runoff.
  • Test of on-site fire engines by spraying water into grassy areas to increase groundwater percolation into the County aquifers.
  • In process of replacing turf with gravel, drought tolerant plants and shrubs.

Noise Abatement
John Wayne Airport has one of the most stringent aircraft access and noise programs in the United States and the world. Noise regulations at JWA are carried out using the following standards, guidelines and tools:

  • Compliance with the Phase 2 Commercial Airline Access Plan and Regulation (Access Plan), resulting from the 1985 Settlement Agreement, 2003 and 2014 Amendments. The Access Plan defines limits on operational capacity, hours of operations and noise levels.
  • General aviation operations are permitted 24-hours daily subject to compliance with daytime noise limits and more restrictive nighttime noise limits, as defined in the General Aviation Noise Ordinance.
  • Utilization of a state-of-the-art noise monitoring system that enables JWA to track the 280,000+ air carrier and general aviation operations that occur each year at the Airport.

For more information, contact Deanne Thompson at 949.252.5182 or

John Wayne Airport (SNA) is owned by the County of Orange and is operated as a self-supporting enterprise that receives no general fund tax revenue. The Airport serves more than 10 million passengers annually and reaches more than 20 nonstop destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. More information can be found at Like us on, or follow us on Twitter @johnwayneair and Instagram @johnwayneair.

Last updated: 07/13/17