Airline Industry Strives Toward Biodiesel, Alternatives

John Davis

ataThe U.S. airline industry continues to make efforts to develop alternatives to petroleum-based jet fuels. We’ve been telling you about the various efforts made to run biodiesel in several airliners (see my stories from January 8, 2009 and October 15, 2008 for a couple of examples).

nancyyoungRecently, Nancy Young, Vice President of Environmental Affairs for the Air Transport Association of America Inc. wrote this letter to the editor to our friends at Biodiesel Magazine, in which she talks about her industry’s efforts to to make alternative jet fuels a top priority, thanks in part to the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group:

Another key contributor to this progress is the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, a diverse consortium of manufacturers, airlines, airports, government agencies and universities that is dedicated to bringing commercially viable, environmentally friendly alternative jet fuels to market.

Since 2006, CAAFI has played a critical role in driving alternative jet fuel research and development, environmental assessment, certification and business integration by developing and progressing roadmaps in these four key areas. As a result, for example, the CAAFI Environmental Team recently developed an approach to methodologies for peer-reviewed life-cycle environmental analyses for alternative jet fuels, which is essential to demonstrating environmental benefits. In another example, CAAFI established a plan and time line for the certification of alternative jet fuels, with certification of a 50 percent synthetic jet fuel expected by mid-2009 and a 50 percent biofuel certification slated for 2010.

Through CAAFI, SAFUG and other important initiatives, our industry is responding to the obstacles to implementing alternative fuels on a wide scale. With jet fuel as our No. 1 cost center and given the clear environmental challenges associated with traditional fossil fuels, no other industry is more motivated to bring alternative fuels to market than aviation.

The letter is a thankful response to Biodiesel Magazine’s January 2009 article entitled “Aviation Alternatives.”

Biodiesel, Indy Racing