As sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) take the spotlight at this year’s NBAA-BACE in an effort to accelerate their availability and use, NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) are looking to continue that push with a Business Aviation Global Sustainability Summit in March 2020 in Washington, D.C. The meeting was announced on Tuesday morning at the show.
The summit will build on previous industry initiatives aimed at promoting the use of renewable fuels, including the first-ever public demonstration at Van Nuys Airport in January that highlighted the safety and environmental benefits of SAF. That was followed by a similar event held in May at the UK’s Farnborough Airport on the eve of EBACE.
“Business aviation has long made sustainability a priority, and we have made tangible progress,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “Over the past decade we have redoubled our commitment to reducing the industry’s already-small carbon footprint, and key to that has been the development and use of sustainable fuels.”
As part of the show’s week-long focus on sustainability, SAF is available at Henderson Executive Airport, host of the NBAA 2019 static display. By the time the display aircraft refuel and depart on Thursday, an estimated 150,000 gallons of SAF, provided by World Fuel Services, will have been pumped in a collaborative effort between the airport, local fuel suppliers and show organizers.
“I applaud this effort to reduce the aviation emissions footprint in Southern Nevada, and look forward to the continued implementation of other sustainability initiatives throughout our Clark County Aviation System,” said county commissioner Michael Nutt. “These first steps toward a more environmentally conscious aviation operation would not be possible without strong partnerships within the industry.”
Gulfstream, which has its own supply of SAF, announced that its display fleet consisting of a G650ER, G600, G500, G550, and G280 made its first carbon-neutral flights on the way to Las Vegas, using a combination of SAF and carbon offsets. The jets were powered by a 30/70 blend of low-carbon drop-in SAF and traditional jet-A. The emissions from the jet-A were more than offset by the airframer’s purchase of verified emission reduction credits through a third-party provider, which the OEM is also now offering to Gulfstream operators.
Likewise, fuel provider Valcora in collaboration with Shell will offset fuel emissions through nature-based carbon credits. All Shell Aviation, fuels sold through the Valcora digital purchasing platform will be carbon-neutral, with emissions automatically offset via carbon credits included with the fuel purchase.
On the NBAA-BACE show floor this week, Air BP (Booth C7219) is highlighting how common trash—such as banana peels—that would normally end up in landfills can be converted in SAF by its partner Neste and eventually by California-based Fulcrum BioEnergy, which is building its first plant in nearby Reno, Nevada.
“At Air BP, we believe it is important to keep working with multiple suppliers, customers, and partners to support the commercialization of SAF,” said Irene Lores, the company’s global sales and marketing director for general aviation.