Air BP, Norwegian airport operator Avinor and SkyNRG last week achieved what they say is an important breakthrough in making biofuels a viable option for airlines when they delivered the first jet biofuel to operators at Norway’s Oslo Airport using the existing hydrant mechanism of the main fuel farm. Germany’s Lufthansa was the first airline to use the new option when it refueled an Airbus A320. Scandinavian flagcarrier SAS and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines confirmed on January 22 that they too will be using the new service.
Following an assessment of local market demand by Avinor, Air BP agreed to supply a minimum of 1.25 million liters of jet biofuel at Oslo Airport. Specialist biofuel provider SkyNRG helped to source initial supplies from the Neste Provoo refinery in Finland.
“With the recent Paris agreement signed [on measures to slow climate change] and the airline industry’s ongoing commitment to protecting the environment, we are delighted to be the first airport in the world to enable refueling of biofuel from our existing fuel farm and hydrant dispenser system,” Avinor CEO Dag Falk-Peterson commented.
The biofuel initiative is part of a wider response to the International Air Transport Association’s goal of achieving carbon neutral traffic growth by 2020 and a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. The European Union has set a more specific goal of ensuring that 3.5 percent of all aviation fuel consumption will consist of biofuel by 2020.
In December 2015, The Port of Seattle partnered with Boeing and Alaska Airlines to launch a $250,000 study aimed at assessing the feasibility of offering a blend of biofuel and conventional Jet A to aircraft at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Eventually, the partners want to be able to fuel all flights from the airport with biofuel, but as yet have set no specific timeline for achieving these goals.