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 are both sustainable and cost effective. Key environmental policies and practices are described below.

Air Quality
JWA implements measures to reduce emissions generated by the airport and by aircraft and vehicles using the Airport.

  • Electric preconditioned air units and ground-based electrical power are provided for commercial aircraft to use in place of jet-fueled on-board Auxiliary Power Units (APUs). The ground-based units burn about 90 percent less fuel than APUs, resulting in lower carbon emissions.
  • Air quality permits and permit conditions are strictly enforced.
  • Electric charging stations are provided in airport parking lots to accommodate and encourage zero emissions vehicles.
  • Congestion (and emission) reducing infrastructure is continually added and updated such as pay on foot stations, a cell phone waiting lot, and taxi staging lots.
  • Contract taxi cabs and parking shuttles use clean burning compressed natural gas (CNG) low emission vehicles.
  • Electric and ultra low emission vehicles are preferentially purchased to replace aging fleet vehicles.
  • The Airport’s Central Utility Plant operates 75% below the permit allowable emissions.

JWA diverts more than 75 percent of the waste from aircraft, the Thomas F. Riley Terminal, and supporting facilities and construction projects.

  • Recycling containers are located throughout the Terminal for plastic, glass, aluminum and paper products.
  • Trash from aircraft is sorted off-site by JWA’s waste management contractor for recovery of recyclables
  • Terminal food concessions participate in food donation programs. Other food waste and cooking oil are collected from concessions and ultimately recycled as biofuel.
  • Paper waste and electronics from JWA offices are collected and recycled.
  • Construction waste is preferentially recycled at rates approaching 90%.
  • JWA and tenants recycle used aircraft fuels and oils.

Pollution Prevention/Water Quality
JWA maintains and enforces an Airport-wide Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) addressing reduction of pollutants in storm water runoff from all facility operations and activities.

  • On-site fuel tanks are rigorously tested to detect and prevent leaks.
  • Airport employees and tenants are regularly trained in containment, clean-up and pollution prevention techniques.
  • Site-specific structural and non-structural Best Management Practices are employed to reduce the potential for pollutants to contaminate storm water discharges.
  • Pesticide and fertilizer use is minimized and monitored.
  • Airside industrial storm water runoff is treated by oil-water-sediment separators before leaving Airport property.

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.
  • LED lighting meeting FAA safety standards is utilized on the airfield reducing both maintenance and energy costs.
  • JWA continues to replace aging equipment and lighting with more energy efficient equipment and LED lighting throughout the Airport facilities.
  • The Central Utility Plant includes cogeneration infrastructure efficiently providing chilled water for air conditioning as well as hot water to the Terminal.

Water Conservation
JWA achieved a 20% reduction in water use in 2015 and continues to pursue water conservation programs

  • Terminal, Maintenance Building and the Eddie Martin Administration Building restrooms use low-flow toilets and urinals, and automatic faucets.
  • Groundwater is recharged through use of swales, permeable pavers and by directing water flows to a retaining basin.
  • Plumbing is regularly inspected for leaks and repaired when necessary.
  • Drip irrigation and Smart timer irrigation systems are employed for landscape areas.
  • “Dry wash” low water methods are employed for General Aviation aircraft.
  • Valet car wash also employs low water wash methods, approximately one cup of water per vehicle.
  • Firefighting training is conducted by spraying water onto grassy areas to increase groundwater percolation into the County aquifers.
  • Turf is in the process of being replaced 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: 08/20/18