New regulations limiting–and in some cases prohibiting–the transport of certain types of batteries on passenger aircraft are directed at the airlines, but business jet operators throughout the U.S. are addressing the issue with similar policies and recommendations following an increase in the number of aviation incidents involving overheated batteries and battery-powered devices.
The International Air Carrier Association (IACA) last month called on European Union member states to include an open carbon trading system for aviation within the existing Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) market. At the association’s annual general meeting in Brussels, IACA members asserted that the current design–drafted by the European Parliament–would damage the aviation sector beyond repair.
Synthetic fuel seems to be the new Holy Grail of air transport. The prospect of oil reserve depletion, the need to curb CO2 emissions and energy security concerns are all encouraging the industry to find a viable alternative to the current jet-A1 kerosene that can be used in current engines.
General Electric’s research arm and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (Darpa) have joined forces to develop an entirely bio-based jet fuel to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. The main challenge is to make the conversion process efficient. The project envisions a conversion efficiency, by energy content, of crop oil to JP-8 surrogate of between 60 and 85 percent.
Green Flight International last month conducted the first flight of a jet using 100-percent biodiesel fuel. The experimental test flight was flown by an L-29, a military aircraft that is rated to fly on a variety of fuels, including heating oil, making it a “preferred platform” for testing biodiesel in jet engines.
NetJets Europe is building carbon-offsetting costs into its fractional ownership prices in a bid to become a carbon-neutral operation by 2012. Beginning October 1, all new clients and existing clients who renew their contracts will purchase carbon credits that cancel out the carbon produced when they take flights. Current customers will be asked to sign up for the program voluntarily as part of their existing contracts.
The Federal Aviation Administration is to leverage the U.S. Air Force’s experience with synthetic fuel, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said here on Tuesday during a press conference. Under the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), the FAA is studying solutions to replace today’s Jet-A1 kerosene. Looked for are fuels with smaller carbon dioxide (CO2) footprints. The results of two studies are due this September.
In a nod to increasing concerns about the environmental impact of aircraft, CFM International has successfully tested one of its engines fueled by a mix of biofuel and normal Jet-A1 kerosene.The company said the target is for a 20-percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
The ultra-light Akoya, an original amphibian twin-seater, is to make its first flight by this summer. The Akoya can takeoff from land, water or even snow thanks to innovative features, Lisa Airplanes CEO Erick Herzberger explained to EBACE Convention News. Simultaneously, the Chambery, France-based company is working on a fuel-cell powered aircraft, the Hy-Bird.
European politicians and the wider environmental lobby have made it clear that aviation is firmly in their sights in the struggle to halt what is broadly perceived as manmade global warming. Yesterday, here in the opening session of the EBACE conference, the business aviation community made it clear that they aren’t hiding from the issue.