Green Flights for Tokyo Olympics Athletes, Fans

Joanna Schroeder

The athletes and fans who are traveling to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games in Tokyo will be flying a bit greener as Boeing and Japanese aviation industry stakeholders have charted a path to develop and fly with aviation biofuels. A group of 46 organizations have formed The Initiatives for Next Generation Aviation Fuels that along with Boeing includes ANA (All Nippon Airways), Japan Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines as well as Japan’s government and the University of Tokyo and others.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), aviation biofuels can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50-80 percent compared to current fuel options.

tokyo olympics logo“Boeing is proud to work with Japan’s aviation sector, including customers and the Japanese government, to achieve their ambitious goals for developing sustainable aviation biofuel,” said George Maffeo, president, Boeing Japan. “Building on our longstanding relationships in Japan, we are committed to help reduce aviation’s carbon emissions and its reliance on fossil fuel.”

INAF said the Olympics and Paralympics are “the perfect opportunity” for Japan and its airlines to showcase their environmental commitment.

“Developing and using sustainable aviation biofuel is an excellent way for Japan to show its commitment to the environment and technologies that can reduce aviation’s environmental impact,” said Shinji Suzuki, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics,University of Tokyo. “And, as the new aviation biofuel ‘roadmap’ indicates, Japan is ready to accelerate development and use of sustainable aviation fuels by the 2020 Olympics.”

Among the report’s conclusions:

  • Industry, government and academia in Japan need to collaborate to promote the introduction of sustainable aviation biofuel to support Japan’s energy security and reduce aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Potential feedstocks, or biologically based sources, that could be used to produce sustainable aviation biofuel in Japan include municipal solid waste, plant oils and animal fats, used cooking oil, algae, cellulosic biomass and residues from the wood products industry.
  • Policy incentives promoting the introduction of next-generation aviation fuels are a prerequisite to success in aviation biofuel use.

The INAF report is available here.

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