BizAv Looking to the Future with Sustainable Fuel Options

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Renewable fuel is becoming more of a reality for many aircraft.

In recent years, the aviation industry has started looking at sustainable and environmentally-friendly alternatives to replace our current jet fuels, especially when considering CORSIA compliance. But won’t this shift mean expensive prices and fewer options? Not necessarily. With more education and intentionality of renewable fuels, increased choices and lowered prices could provide operators with an easier decision to transition to this eco-conscious product. The NBAA and FAA are heading this movement, and here’s how they are trying increase options for operations around the globe.

During the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2018) in May, The Business Aviation Guide to Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuels was released. This guide centers around awareness and adoption of sustainable alternative jet fuels (SAJF) currently available and emerging into the scene in the United States and Europe. The NBAA’s director of technical operations, Eli Cotti, comments “through this new initiative we hope that business aviation may advance the proliferation of alternative fuels at all the logical touchpoints: the manufacturers, the ground handlers, and the operators, at the national, regional, and international levels.”

A major industry proponent of SAJF is Gulfstream Aerospace, which uses a 30/70 blend of low-carbon, drop-in renewable fuel and Jet A to power their customer support aircraft and any company flights. Charles Etter, environmental and regulatory affairs tech fellow at Gulfstream said, “we’ve flown over half a million nautical miles on renewable fuels, saving over one million pounds of CO2 emissions. We’re very proud of that as a company.” Etter also mentioned the company has been working with their clients to educate and inform them on alternative jet fuel options, but that “the cost is a hindering factor.”

Sustainable jet fuel

Like the NBAA, the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), a partnership of the FAA and other members of the aviation community, is aiming to lower cost and increase education on sustainable jet fuels. The initiative hopes to accelerate development and deployment of SAJF particularly for Jet A working with Farm-to-Fly 2.0, another initiative involving the NBAA and other government agencies.

As more collaboration and forward movement towards sustainable fuel continues, we hope to see real results with more economical and eco-friendly options. 

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