Making Your Part 135 or 91 Flight Department Sustainable  

Sustainable 135

Simple changes can make your Part 135 or 91 operation more sustainable 

Everywhere you look these days, someone is talking about sustainability and going green. That’s all well and good until you realize that society is placing a good chunk of the blame on airplanes. Not just the big airlines flying across the ocean, but the Part 135 and 91 operators, the leisure flyers, and the students in their Cessna Skyhawk. What are we to do?  

Well, help is on the way! Aviation International News (AIN) is hosting a one-day regional conference on March 30 in Los Angeles. They will cover everything you need to know about turning aviation green. This conference is not just about sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), but more in line with how to build sustainability into every nook and cranny of your flight department.   

The conference will be valuable, even if you go only to learn about all the new terminology and technology. For example, I’m not 100% sure what SAF is and how it helps the environment, nor do I know how to get it. Even more importantly, I’m unsure how to tell if it’s approved for my airplane. Experts in the field will address these questions and more.  

Sessions will cover regulatory and government roles in minimizing aviation emissions using Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and carbon credits. Again, what an excellent opportunity for an education. Along with carbon credits, they’ll talk about carbon offsets. You can buy credits to cover the emissions of your trips. Now it’s getting confusing – I think we could all use a live session with a speaker to explain all of this! You’ll also learn how to reduce the environmental impact of noise and improve air quality through your efforts.  

Airplanes aren’t the only culprits in the mission towards sustainability; facilities, fuel trucks, and support equipment are all thrown into the mix. The conference will address what can be done in these areas, such as using solar energy, water management, recycling, reducing individual-use items, and using carbon-free ground support equipment.   

There are things you can do, starting immediately, and they are easy to understand! Things like ending the use of plastic for everything from cups and plates to silverware and plastic wrap. We should eliminate every individual-use product there is on board our aircraft. Replacing plastic with eco-friendly, compostable materials can get us started right away toward a greener footprint. 

You can also do research and start using biofuels whenever you can. They’re now making fuel out of algae and waste oils, even from yesterday’s garbage! Ask your FBO if SAF is available. You may be surprised. 

Whether you are a small Part 91 operator or a multi-plane Part 135 Charter operation, there are things you can do to help save Mother Earth. If you’re anywhere near the west coast, grab a seat at the AIN Sustainable Flight Department event. If it is too much of a stretch to get there in person, do your own research and start building a sustainable flight department. Every tiny bit of effort will help! 

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