As reported by Autotopia, Oregon-based SeaPort Airline has become the first entirely green airline to offer enviro-friendly air travel between the Portland International Airport and Seattle’s Boeing Field. First opening its doors back in June, the fledgling airline is a small operation with a fleet only 3 planes large, and it’s leaving an even smaller carbon footprint. Using planes assembled by Swiss aeronautic company Pilatus, SeaPort ferries passenger’s in turboprop PC-12’s. The 47 ft long, 14 ft high, single engine PC-12’s are only able to accommodate 9 passengers at a time [plus 2 crew], and have a maximum altitude of 30,000 ft. Suitable for the short local commute, the PC-12’s reach top cruising speeds at 300 mph – and only consume an average of 51 gallons of fuel per flight. With that kind of economy SeaPort frees itself from credit-based emissions trading, but they don’t pocket the extra cash. Instead, SeaPort funnels the money the would ordinarily spend on offsets directly into conservation giant Columbia Land Trust’s Northwest forest conservation project, the Working Forest Initiative.
In addition to being greener, SeaPort Airline is also faster than comparable airlines flying the same pattern. It’s a little more expensive, with base round-trip airfare hovering around $149, but because it falls outside of the TSA’s jurisdiction, many veteran fliers are willing to absorb the cost simply to escape the lengthy security measures.