In case you haven’t heard, there is a growing commitment by the Business Aviation community for the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF). Kurt Edwards, director general, IBAC highlights how these are available today. But what are their benefits...?
Early this year an event took place in Van Nuys, California - Business Jets Fuel Green: A Step Toward Sustainability - to further educate and inform our industry about the use of SAF and demonstrate that this new drop-in fuel is ready to use today!
Aircraft manufacturers flew SAF demo flights with media representatives, and local airport officials joined to share in the commitment to limit carbon emissions and serve as a model for offering these fuels at other airports. It was the first of several events like this to advance the industry's long-standing commitment to emissions reduction including, among other aims, to achieve carbon-neutral growth in international operations from 2020 forward.
Business Aviation has always been an early adopter of technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce environmental impacts. The growing use of SAF will be a critical component of Business Aviation's ability to reach its aggressive long-term goal to halve carbon emissions by 2050 relative to 2005 levels.
In May 2018, a coalition of Business Aviation organizations unveiled ‘The Business Aviation Guide to the Use of Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuels’ intended to raise awareness and encourage adoption of available and emerging SAF options. The Guide places SAF in the overall context of the ‘Business Aviation Commitment on Climate Change’, published in 2009, the conceptual roadmap for reducing carbon emissions.
The coalition that authored the Guide includes the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). The Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) and the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) provided valuable technical assistance.
The Guide outlines three key themes regarding SAF, as follows:
1. SAF are safe and available today.
- They have been tested by manufacturers of aircraft, engines and components to assure their reliability and safety in the air and on the ground and satisfy ASTM fuel standards.
- Equally important, the fuels can be blended with current fuels, so manufacturers do not have to redesign engines or aircraft. The fuels can simply be ‘dropped in’ whenever available.
2. SAF offer many benefits.
- They support compliance with international emissions measures, including the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), set forth by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), as well as the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.
- Their use allows operators and others in the industry to achieve corporate social responsibility goals and demonstrate the industry’s commitment to addressing climate change.
- Alternative fuels may provide improved efficiency and contribute to improved local air quality through lower particulate emissions.
3. SAF are a “win-win-win” for all stakeholders.
- Sustainability is a vital component of the rationale for the use of these fuels. They can be based on a wide range of feedstocks such as cooking oil, plant oils, municipal solid waste, waste gases, sugars, purpose-grown biomass, and some crops and agricultural residues. Even when considering the emissions produced in growing, transporting, harvesting, processing and refining the inputs, there can be significant reductions in carbon lifecycle emissions compared to the same lifecycle for fossil fuels.
From a global standpoint, our aim with the SAF initiative is to support Business Aviation’s commitment to carbon emissions reduction. The investment in the demonstration events promoting SAF reflects the commitment of aircraft manufacturers, fuel suppliers, airports, FBOs, and the coalition of associations to this technology.
I look forward to building on the momentum of our industry’s commitment and hope you will join us by asking your fuel providers about SAF availability!
To learn more, visit www.FutureOfSustainableFuel.com
About Kurt Edwards
As Director General of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), Kurt Edwards advocates for Business Aviation at the International Civil Aviation Organization and through the 14 Business Aviation association members of IBAC, located across six continents. He is assisted by a team of experienced aviation professionals that promote and manage the industry-leading global codes of best safety practices: IS-BAO and IS-BAH. Learn more at IBAC.org