Rolls-Royce marks a milestone with 100% SAF fuelled flight from Tucson

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Working alongside Boeing and World Energy, Rolls-Royce has marked a milestone in its lower carbon journey having carried out a successful test flight of its 747 Flying Testbed aircraft using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on a Trent 1000 engine.

The aircraft flew from Tucson Airport in Arizona on 19 October with a Trent 1000 engine running solely on 100% SAF. The remaining three RB211 engines ran on standard jet fuel and the flight lasted three hours and 45 minutes before landing back at the same airport having passed over New Mexico and Texas.

Aircraft are currently only certified to operate on a maximum of 50% SAF blended with conventional jet fuel and Rolls-Royce continues to support efforts to certificate non-blended SAF.

The need to increase SAF production was recently recognised by the US Biden administration with the launch of a SAF Grand Challenge to produce 3 billion gallons of the fuel a year by 2030. Th European Commission has also created a ReFuelEU Aviation proposal that would mandate the incorporation of SAF supplied at EU airports. This would increase to 63% by 2050.

“We believe in air travel as a force for cultural good, but we also recognise the need to take action to decarbonise our industry,” said Simon Burr, Rolls-Royce, Director Product Development and Technology – Civil Aerospace. “This flight is another example of our collaboration across the value chain to make sure all the aircraft technology solutions are in place to enable a smooth introduction of 100% SAF into our industry.”

The test flight was carried out in close collaboration with Boeing, which provided technical support and oversight on aircraft modifications and assurance the aircraft systems would operate as expected with 100% SAF. The low-carbon fuel for the flight was provided by World Energy, the world’s first and America’s only commercial-scale SAF production company.

“We’re grateful for the trailblazing work our partners are doing,” said Gene Gebolys, CEO, World Energy. “Rolls-Royce’s work to prove the viability of powering the jet engines they make with the 100% renewable SAF we make lays the groundwork for fossil fuel-free flight. This work is incredibly important, and we applaud and appreciate Rolls-Royce for working with us to do it.”

Farnborough Airport scoops FBO of the year title at ACA Awards

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Farnborough Airport in the UK was named FBO of the year in the Air Charter Association (ACA) Excellence Awards, 2021. The Annual awards highlight the best in the aviation sector and award companies for excellence within specific fields. Winners are selected through a combination of member voting and deliberations of the ACA’s industry adjudication panel.

“We are delighted to receive this prestigious accolade and we are hugely appreciative to all those who voted for us,” said Farnborough Airport’s Business Development Manager, Richard Wittels. “This award is testament to the hard work of the entire Farnborough Airport team, who are committed to delivering outstanding customer service and operational excellence.”

Recognised as the UK’s first airfield in aviation history and home to the country’s first powered flight in 1908, Farnborough Airport continues to be a leader in aviation. It hosts Farnborough Airshow every two years and in 2018 was the first business aviation airport to be awarded carbon neutral status by Airports Council International (ACI) Europe under the Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme. In July 2021 the airport introduced the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

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NBAA-BACE: Signature Flight Support marks SAF milestone and launches book and claim initiative

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Signature Flight Support has launched its Signature Renew Book & Claim programme at this year’s National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) being held this week in Las Vegas, US.

Similar to Avfuel’s scheme, which was also launched this week at NBAA-BACE, the Signature Renew book and claim programme enables private aircraft operators the flexibility to purchase the carbon reductions created by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) regardless of its physical availability at that same location.

The carbon reduction is made available for bulk purchase similarly to carbon offsets: however the environmental impact represents actual fuel consumed by aircraft.

According to Signature Aviation’s Interim CEO, Tony Lefebvre, “the launch of Signature Renew’s Book & Claim programme further demonstrates Signature’s commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050. Book & Claim will accelerate the adoption of SAF by providing an alternative mechanism to unlock the carbon reduction benefits of sustainable fuels, resulting in a cleaner environment starting today.”

Signature has also marked another milestone in its SAF journey having cumulatively uplifted more than 4 million gallons of SAF across its network since September 2020. This accounts for a more than 10,000 tonne CO2 reduction that would have otherwise entered the atmosphere.

In addition, Signature has partnered with Airbus to supply SAF to all new-build A320 series aircraft manufactured at its Airbus US Manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama.

NBAA-BACE: Avfuel launches book and claim programme and commits to sustainability

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Capping of an exciting 12 months of developments, global aviation fuel supplier Avfuel has made a formal commitment to sustainability during this year’s National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), which is taking place 12-14 October in Las Vegas, US. Its commitment includes a new sustainability mission statement, a book and claim programme to widen the benefits of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) globally and a pledge to offset emissions annually.

According to the fuel supplier it is committed to identifying, developing, providing and advocating for sustainable solutions. It will also promote environmentally responsible operations at its properties and throughout the Avfuel network.

Making SAF more attainable

The fuel supplier’s book and claim programme enables customers to buy a full load delivery of SAF and receive credit for the emissions reductions benefit it provides no matter where they are in relation to where the fuel is delivered.

“We’re thrilled to now make SAF more attainable for our customers worldwide,” said Keith Sawyer, Avfuel’s Manager of alternative fuels. “SAF is the most effective way to reduce a flight’s carbon footprint, and book and claim is the single-most effective way to make SAF attainable for customers no matter where they fly. SAF production is largely isolated to the Western US. Trucking the fuel to the opposite end of the country where a customer may want SAF is not only less efficient and costlier – particularly given the truck driver shortage – but also affects the lifecycle emissions reduction benefit of SAF. Rather than moving the molecules, it makes far more sense to move the accreditation.”

Using Avfuel’s book and claim programme customers can purchase SAF (the claim) no matter where they’re located – paying the premium cost for SAF over jet fuel and, in return, receiving the credit for its use and applying it to their ESG scores. This SAF is taken off the book at an airport where the physical SAF molecules are held and being uplifted by customers who are simply paying for jet fuel and do not get to claim credit toward using SAF in their ESG scores.

To ensure the SAF molecules aren’t double counted the entire system is conducted in a compliant manner. Only the SAF purchaser receives credit for that SAF’s emissions reductions. Sawyer explained that the programme is not unlike carbon offsetting whereby customers can pay to invest in green projects and receive credit toward carbon emissions reductions. “The difference is that emissions are being directly reduced by an operation through the use of SAF, rather than simply offsetting emissions that have already been produced,” he said.

Commitment to carbon offsets

To offset carbon emissions generated from its own activities from 2020 onwards, which includes energy used on Avfuel’s campuses and by company vehicles, as well as the fuel used in corporate aircraft and diesel used in leased refueler truck equipment across its network, Avfuel will purchase carbon credits to offset 8,164 metric tonnes of carbon emissions. The credits will be purchased through Avfuel’s new carbon credit provider, CBL Markets.

“At Avfuel we recognise the responsibility we have – especially as a fuel supplier – to operate with a sustainable mindset,” said Marci Ammerman, Avfuel’s VP of Marketing. “After carefully reviewing the emissions we produce as a company with third-party sustainability consultants, we felt it imperative to do our part in reducing our net carbon footprint. While we’ll continue to analyse how we can reduce our direct emissions as a company, we’re excited to promote a cleaner, brighter future by offsetting the emissions we do generate through the use of carbon credits, which fund green initiatives that wouldn’t otherwise take place.”

Shell unveils ambition to produce two million tonnes of SAF a year by 2025

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Aviation fuel giant Shell plans to produce around 2 million tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) a year by 2025. It also aims to have at least 10% of its global aviation fuels sales as SAF by 2030.

“Currently, SAF accounts for less than 0.1% of the world’s use of aviation fuel. We want to help our customers use more SAF,” said Anna Mascolo, President of Shell Aviation. “With the right policies, investments and collaboration across the sector we can accelerate aviation’s progress towards net zero by 2050.”

Last week saw Shell take a final investment decision for a new biofuels plant at its Rotterdam Energy and Chemicals Park. The facility will have the ability to produce 820,000 tonnes of low-carbon fuels per year, including SAF. Shell also offers certified nature-based carbon credits to offset emissions, and is exploring other ways to help aviation achieve its net-zero goals, including hydrogen power.

The company has also now published two reports looking at how the aviation sector can accelerate its progress towards decarbonisation.

Decarbonising Aviation: Cleared for Take-Off is a joint report between Shell and Deloitte based on the view of more than 100 aviation industry executives and experts. It outlines 15 ways to reduce emissions between now and 2030 that will help aviation to reach net-zero by 2050.

Shell’s companion report – Decarbonising Aviation: Shell’s Flight Path – outlines how Shell, as one of the world’s largest suppliers of aviation fuel and lubricants, can help its customer decarbonise. It highlights Shell’s ambition to produce 2 million tonnes of SAF a year by 2025. Achieving this goal will make Shell a leading global producer of SAF and support the decarbonisation of the aviation sector.

Advocating for a comprehensive regulatory regime to accelerate the decarbonisation of aviation, Shell has been calling for an supply supports the introduction of ambitious and feasible SAF blending mandates.

Air bp’s book and claim solution makes SAF more accessible for all

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Certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), Air bp’ book and claim solution provides customers with wider market access to SAF across a number of locations.

One of the big challenges with SAF, according to Air bp, is that current volumes and existing supply points are limited. Subsequently, delivering SAF far from those supply points can be an expensive process. In addition, long supply chains can create increased carbon emissions, which would reduce the overall carbon savings form the use of the SAF. With SAF only currently available at a small number of locations across Europe and North America, Air bp’s book and claim solution allows customers to access SAF carbon reductions without being physically connected to the supply site.

Essentially this means that bp is able to deliver the SAF into the supply chain at one airport location and ‘book’ the carbon reduction associated with it into a registry. Then the customer at another location can ‘claim’ those carbon reductions by purchasing their traditional jet fuel along with the benefit of the lifecycle carbon reductions that have been registered in that registry.

A global multi-stakeholder organisation that supports the SAF and wider bioeconomy sector with sustainability solutions, partnerships and certification, RSB will certify Air bp’s book and claim SAF sales based on its’ own robust procedures and manage the book and claim registry.

The solution is particularly relevant to the private aviation sector where volumes are smaller and typically purchased over a wide number of locations. So, if SAF isn’t available at the location a customer is flying from, they still have the opportunity to purchase the carbon reductions for SAF that is placed into the supply chain where it is most cost effective and where carbon emissions from the transport of the product can be reduced. The book and claim customer is then issued a certificate by the registry showing the volume of SAF delivered and the corresponding lifecycle carbon emission savings. In addition to providing a wider range of customers access to the benefits of SAF, book and claim also helps Air bp to develop a greater understanding of SAF demand.

British Airways collaborates with bp to source SAF during the UK’s COP26 summit

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British Airways has launched its BA Better World sustainability programme, which it describes as it’s ‘most important journey yet.’ It is has also revealed a new collaboration with bp to source sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for all its flights between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh during the UK COP26 conference taking place at the end of October.

The airline was the first to report its carbon footprint in 1992 and last year it became the first major airline to voluntarily offset all emissions from its domestic flights. This latest announcement further reiterates British Airways’ commitment to put sustainability at the heart of its business. The airline’s sustainability programme will include reducing emissions and waste and positively contributing to the communities it serves, as well as creating a more resilient responsible business.

In line with its sustainability goals the airline is also collaborating with fuel giant bp to source SAF with respect to all its flights between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh during the UK’s COP26 climate change summit being held in Glasgow later this year.

In a UK first, British Airways has also announced that as of 7 September its customers can purchase SAF to reduce their carbon footprint via its not-for-profit organisation Pure Leapfrog. This is in addition to customers being able to offset their emissions.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with British Airways by supplying SAF with respect to all of its flights from London to Glasgow and Edinburgh for the COP26 event,” said Martin Thomsen, CEO of bp’s aviation division. “Our companies have a long-standing relationship and will continue to work together on SAF supply initiatives on an ongoing basis.”

He added that at bp, “we want to help decarbonise the aviation industry and we will continue to collaborate with industry stakeholders and governments to explore viable options to help scale up SAF more broadly.”

British Airways’ CEO and Chairman, Sean Doyle, explained that with BA Better World, the airline is on its most important journey yet – “to a better, more sustainable future and one which will ensure the long-term success of our business.” He also commented that the airline’s commitment for COP26 to source enough SAF for its flights between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh during the summit “is in addition to the mandatory carbon trading we already operate in the UK and our own further voluntary carbon offsetting of our UK domestic flights.”

It has partnered with Airbus to paint one of its most modern, fuel-efficient short-haul aircraft, an A320neo, in its new sustainability programme colours.

At a launch event for its BA Better World programme on 7 September the airline showcased some of the initiatives it has introduced to improve sustainability in the air and on the ground, including switching from diesel to renewably powered electric pushback vehicles and removing weight from its aircraft by introducing lighter seats and trollies, inflight magazines and paper flight manuals. It also outlined its efforts to remove single-use plastic and source more products from recycled materials.

Altalto sustainable fuels project awarded grant of up to £2.4m

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The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded sustainable fuels technology company, Velocys, a grant of up to £2.4m for its Altalto Immingham waste-to-sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) project. Of the total £2.4m grant, £1.2m is subject to progress by the DfT in developing policy support for SAF.

A collaboration between Velocys and British Airways, the Altalto project aims to convert hundreds of thousands of tonnes per year of residual waste in sustainable fuels, mainly aviation fuel. Planning consent for the plant was granted in 2020 and the project is now ready to proceed to the final stages of engineering prior to construction, subject to policy progress and third party project funding.

“We are very pleased to have this enhanced level of support from the Department for Transport for the Altalto project,” said Henrik Wareborn, CEO, Velocys. “The momentum for SAF in the UK and around the world is growing, demonstrated here by the recent consultations on the path to net zero aviation and on a SAF mandate. This grant demonstrates that the Altalto project is a key part of the strategy to accelerate a SAF industry in the UK.

British Airways Chairman and CEO, Sean Doyle, added: “Plants like this one would be a game-changer for our industry, not only delivering sustainable aviation fuel, but also creating hundreds of highly skilled jobs while increasing economic growth around the UK.

“Our parent company, IAG, was the first European airline group to commit to powering 10% of its flights with SAF by 2030 – purchasing one million tonnes of SAF each year, equivalent to taking a million cars off Europe’s roads every year. Projects like this one are part of our journey to that SAF target and we look forward to pushing it forward.”

Avfuel partners with JSSI to assist customers in offsetting carbon emissions

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Jet Support Services, Inc (JSSI) has teamed up with aviation fuel provider, Avfuel, to provide customers with direct access to a carbon offset programme, as well as sustainability tools and resources.

As a leading provider of maintenance support and financial services to the business aviation industry, JSSI is enabling its clients to evaluate and reduce their net carbon emissions by providing a convenient online carbon dioxide (CO2) calculator to estimate emissions, facilitating a simple option to purchase carbon credits to offset emissions, and boost the adoption of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) through Avfuel.

“We are excited to partner with Avfuel to enable our clients to reduce carbon emissions,” said Neil Book, Chairman and CEO of JSSI. “With approximately 10% of the world’s business aviation fleet enrolled on JSSI maintenance programmes, we aspire to have a meaningful impact on our industry objective of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. As research and technology continues to advance, we intend to explore many other innovative paths toward decarbonisation.”

Meanwhile, Craig Sincock, Avfuel’s President and CEO, commented: “We are proud to collaborate to provide efficient tools that make a proven difference in sustainability. We congratulate JSSI for being a true champion for carbon neutrality and are excited to support its admirable goals for a brighter, cleaner future.”

In line with its efforts to drive change towards a sustainable future, JSSI will provide online resources within its customer portal to facilitate the purchase of SAF through Avfuel.

Melbourne Orlando International Airport welcomes ongoing supply of SAF

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Avfuel and Embraer have collaborated to bring Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to Florida’s Melbourne Orlando International Airport.

The agreement comes as Embraer shared its commitment on climate action, including achieving carbon neutral operations by 2040 and supporting the aviation industry’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Both goals include integrating the use of SAF into the aircraft manufacturers sustainability initiatives.

Avfuel provided its first delivery of SAF to Melbourne Orlando’s FBO facility Sheltair for storage and handling on 14 July. Embraer plans to use the SAF in ongoing operations at its executive jet’s headquarters in Melbourne. Each truckload (approximately 8,000 gallons) of the fuel from Neste’s Houston location provides a 19.1 metric ton reduction in carbon emissions over its lifecycle – equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered by 23.4 acres of US forests per year.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with Embraer in furthering sustainability initiatives,” said Craig Sincock, Avfuel’s president and CEO. “We are honoured to provide Embraer with the leading business aviation sustainability solution—SAF—and admire its resolve against climate change. By using SAF, Embraer’s not only providing for a significant reduction in carbon emissions, it’s also providing an exceptional educational opportunity to introduce operators to SAF.”

“At Embraer, we have a deeply rooted heritage in environmentalism, which drives us to find solutions toward a more sustainable future for business aviation. As part of those solutions, we have already begun using SAF when flying to industry events. However, we are now taking our efforts a step further,” said Michael Amalfitano, president and CEO of Embraer Executive Jets. “As we just announced our ESG commitments, it’s crucial that we lead by example to show our local community, our customers, and our operators that we are doing our part and taking immediate action to shape a more sustainable ecosystem of air travel.”

Meanwhile, Sheltair Melbourne’s General Manger, Jamie Toler added: “As business aviation continues to grow, sustainable aviation fuel will be a vital part of advancing our industry and protecting the environment. We are delighted to be an instrument of change thanks to our relationship and partnership with Embraer and Avfuel. Our mutual commitment will only strengthen more environmentally friendly programs.”