RTAA Environmental Programs

Conscious Action, Sustainable Practices

Our region is absolutely breathtaking—and we’re committed to keeping it that way.

Be a Part of the Solution

The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) firmly believes that a healthy and natural environment plays a crucial role in the quality of life for our surrounding communities. It is essential for our economy and the aviation industry as a whole to adopt sustainable practices that put our environment first, always. 

In 2008, the RTAA Board of Trustees passed a resolution highlighting the airport’s commitment to the environment and the important steps it would take to ensure it’s protected. RTAA has established a sustainability program and an in-house environmental committee, which consists of all departments and promotes environmental awareness, increases recycling efforts and encourages the reduction of pollution, waste, and energy at both airports.

The RTAA employs the Airports Council International’s EONS approach, which guides our sustainability policies and practices. The approach is comprised of four critical, interconnected groups:

  1. Economic Viability
  2. Operational Efficiency
  3. Natural Resource Conservation
  4. Social Responsibility

These groups focus their respective initiatives to ensure that we do everything in our power to preserve our region. By continually innovating our practices and programs, we can identify additional sources of renewable energy and find even more ways to maintain sustainable operations throughout our airports. 

Learn More

If you’d like to learn more about how we are reducing our environmental impact, explore some of RTAA’s Annual Sustainability Reports below for a summary of our initiatives and how we’ve incorporated them into our business practices. 

RTAA Environmental Policy Statement

RTAA Annual Sustainability Report 2022
RTAA Annual Sustainability Report 2021
RTAA Annual Sustainability Report 2020

Energy Conservation in Action

Energy-Saving Mode Activated

The Environmental Management System (EMS) is one of the many ways RTAA ensures our facilities minimize their overall energy consumption. By continually seeking opportunities to invest in more energy-efficient facilities, we have successfully completed a number of projects that have resulted in substantial energy savings and reduced energy usage—and this is just the start! 

Take a peek at some of our projects:

  • Installation of Alternative Energy Generation. Upgrades to energy-efficient lighting retrofits, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) throughout our facilities have resulted in considerable energy cost savings as well as operating and maintenance reductions.
  • Energy-Efficient Lighting for Airfield and Passenger Facilities. Projects involve the replacement of existing lighting fixtures with light-emitting diodes or (LEDs).
  • 135kW Solar Photovoltaic System at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport’s (RNO) Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting Facility (ARFF). Reduces both the annual purchased electricity usage by approximately 260,000 kWh and the annual electrical utility cost.

But that’s not all. In an effort to continually improve our practices, RTAA is also working toward more energy-efficient upgrades to the lighting and mechanical systems in the passenger terminal building, as well as the different ways we can generate renewable sources of energy (both geothermal and additional solar) to offset our existing supply needs. 

The Future is in Our Hands

Stead Solvent Site

RTAA’s proactive environmental initiatives have also put a lot of focus on the Stead Solvent Site. In cooperation with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP), the remediation activities and environmental clean-up of the Stead Solvent Site use state-of-the-art equipment and groundwater pumping to control, remove, and prevent the migration of harmful contaminants from the groundwater and soil. While the process will take time, crucial progress is being made, and we couldn’t be more grateful for it. 

RTAA leads a multi-party effort in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lear Entities, and the City of Reno to ensure this important initiative is accomplished. The treatment system has been operating since March of 2005, and approximately $5.1 million is committed to the clean-up effort.

In addition to the pump system, the RTAA is also leading a natural remediation effort by planting numerous trees in the affected area which serves as a natural filtration system by drawing out contaminated groundwater. This technique also helps to restore the area to its once beautiful, natural state and it’s just one of the ways that we are integrating sustainability into all future airport planning.

The RTAA received national attention for its remediation efforts on this project and remains dedicated to its success.

For more information, visit NDEP’s website.