Ahead of the start of the inaugural Sustainable Business Aviation Fuels Summit today, Signature Flight Support launched its new Signature Renew industry sustainability program, including agreements with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) provider Neste and private jet operator NetJets, thus connecting all segments of the fuel supply chain from producer to end-user.
The deal with Neste calls for Signature to purchase five million gallons of SAF, which will be used to establish permanent supplies of the environmentally-friendly fuel at its FBOs at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and at the UK’s London Luton Airport (EGGW). Customers purchasing SAF at Signature SFO will take advantage of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) tax incentive programs, while those at London Luton can reduce carbon offsetting needs for the EU’s ETS.
The SAF purchase agreement is the largest by an FBO operator to date. “Signature is undertaking a momentous step that enables the widescale adoption of SAF,” said Signature COO Tony Lefebvre. “Prior to establishing a permanent supply of SAF, FBOs have only been able to provide a few thousand gallons at one time, typically by request of an individual aircraft operator or for a one-off event.”
He added that the company aims to have the world’s first 100 percent sustainably-supplied FBO in the first quarter of 2021. “By having the first FBO in the world that is able to offer operators a reliable, full volume of SAF at a competitive price only a few dollars beyond traditional jet-A, we are providing the critical acceleration that industry trade groups and aviation regulators have cited as a necessary step on the path to widespread adoption,” Lefebvre concluded.
Earlier this summer, Neste announced it had for the first time, delivered SAF to SFO via the existing multi-product pipeline originally designed for the transport of fossil fuels and other oil products, with that supply originally for use by commercial airlines. This new deal with Signature makes SAF available to the business aviation community there as well.
"People who travel by private aircraft know there's an environmental impact, and many of them want a more sustainable option," said Chris Cooper, Neste's North American vice president for renewable aviation. "In fact, a good number of people relying on private aviation are either working for companies with established climate goals, or individuals who have personally committed to fighting climate change. This partnership means that passengers can look forward to being able to board a private aircraft fueled by SAF and help fight, not contribute to, climate change in the near future."
Also announced, NetJets will be the launch customer for Signature supplied SAF at SFO, committing to purchase up to three million gallons in a non-exclusive agreement. All NetJets aircraft visiting the airport will use the fuel, according to the operator.