NatureAir Gets Green Light to Sell Biofuel

 - March 2, 2009, 6:13 AM

Costa Rican regional airline NatureAir has entered talks with the government of the Central American republic for permission to sell biodiesel fuel to other companies. Despite the fact that its fleet of six de Havilland Canada Twin Otter turboprops runs on jet-A, serving 17 destinations in Costa Rica and Panama, NatureAir calls itself the world’s first carbon-neutral airline. The company did, however, open the country’s first alternative fueling station last June to fuel its own diesel-powered ground equipment.

Its wholly owned fueling company, called Aerotica, produces biodiesel from a mixture of recycled vegetable and cooking oils, most of it collected from the airline’s employees.

The company claims to be the first airline in Central America to run its entire ground operations equipment and fleet of diesel vehicles on the biodegradable fuel. It estimates that use of the biofuel cuts its annual consumption of fossil fuels by 49,256 gallons. According to NatureAir, every gallon of cooking oil flushed down drains pollutes nearly a million gallons of Costa Rican river water.

NatureAir has operated under its current name and ownership since 2000. It flies scheduled service and on-demand charter operations from the northwest city of Liberia and inland town of San Jose.     –