The Business Aviation Coalition for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF Coalition) last month hosted its first Sustainable Business Aviation Fuels Summit. The online event gathered a constellation of experts encompassing all aspects of the industry including operators, legislators, regulators, fuel suppliers, and others to determine how best and how quickly to ramp up the acceptance, demand, and supply for SAF, which is viewed as one of the tentpoles in achieving the industry’s goals of carbon emissions reduction.
The event began with a panel hosted by GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce featuring the heads of most major business jet makers, describing how sustainability is vital to the growth of the industry and what approaches their companies have taken to improve the efficiency of their aircraft. That was followed by a discussion moderated by NATA president and CEO Tim Obitts, including SAF producers and distributors on current production and expansion plans. Among the topics explored in depth was book-and-claim, a mechanism whereby an operator looking to use SAF in an area where it isn’t available can purchase it and receive any environmental policy benefits, while the actual fuel is dispensed at a facility where it is available. This system is viewed as crucial to increasing the usage of SAF until it can become widely distributed.
Tuesday’s sessions featured a roundtable on regulator and stakeholder perspectives, led by IBAC director general Kurt Edwards and featuring introductory comments by Rep. Rick Larson (D-Wash.), member of the House Committee on Transportation and chair of the Subcommittee on Aviation. It explored the policies enacted in California and Oregon to assist in the acceptance and adoption of sustainable fuels and how those could evolve in other areas. The final panel discussion, offering perspectives on the use of SAF by operators, was led by Dr. Shelly deZevallos, a member of NBAA’s board of directors.
“With this summit, we have taken a key next step to build upon the tremendous progress we have made on sustainability in just the last two years,” said Obitts. “We are focused on accelerating SAF’s adoption and use, which requires us to grow supply and demand. This week’s discussion highlighted ways for us to do just that.”
NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen, who introduced each session added, “What we have seen is that awareness [of SAF] has increased, the potential has increased, it's now more visible and we’re more understanding of the tools like the Low Carbon Fuel Standards, like the Federal Tax Credit, like the potential book-and-claim systems that are transparent and accountable,” he told the online audience. “I think we’re seeing a path forward, and I think we’re seeing it being embraced fully throughout the community.”