Leaders of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) today announced an unprecedented gathering, to be held early next year in Washington, DC, aimed at accelerating the availability and use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
The new Business Aviation Global Sustainability Summit, scheduled to take place in March 2020, was announced today at a media breakfast held prior to the opening of NBAA’s 2019 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), which runs from Oct. 22-24 in Las Vegas, NV.
“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. This summit marks the next step in focusing on how to accelerate the fuels’ adoption and use.”
GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce explained, “We have an opportunity to bring all stakeholders together to identify ways to increase the use of SAF. The summit will continue to educate our industry on this safe, drop-in fuel and communicate the existing enthusiasm in the business aviation community for environmental stewardship through use of sustainable fuel.”
On hand for the summit announcement were leaders from the Initiative of the Business Aviation Coalition for Sustainable Aviation Fuel. The coalition includes GAMA and NBAA, as well as the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA).
“SAF is the main solution to our environmental challenges – along with other means of emissions reduction, use of the fuels will be key to meeting our industry’s environmental goals,” said EBAA Chair Juergen Wiese. “This summit will provide another important opportunity to demonstrate that business aviation continues to take seriously its responsibility for reducing climate-changing emissions.”
“Business aviation will meet its global, long-term carbon emissions reduction goal through a multi-pronged approach involving technology, operational improvements, ATM modernization and a global market-based measure,” said IBAC Director General Kurt Edwards. “Sustainable aviation fuel is going to be among the most critical technologies to help us meet the goal. The technology is proven – now is the time for governments and industry to increase significantly efforts to encourage production and use of SAF. The summit and our recent demonstration events are concrete demonstrations of industry’s interest in using SAF. We continue to urge governments at all levels to implement positive incentive policies to facilitate greater production of sustainable aviation fuels.”
NATA Chief Operating Officer Tim Obitts stated, “NATA is constantly hearing from our members about their desire for the use of SAF. The aviation business community is at the forefront in taking proactive measures towards building a sustainable future. This summit is a continuation of the SAF coalition’s aim to educate the industry and wider public about the quality and safety of SAF, as we seek its widespread adoption.”
The new summit builds upon previous industry initiatives aimed at promoting SAF use, including the first-ever public demonstration – in January 2019, at California’s Van Nuys Airport – which highlighted the fuels’ viability, safety and benefit toward aviation-emissions reduction. That demonstration day was followed by a similar event, held in May 2019, at TAG London Farnborough Airport.
In conjunction with the summit announcement, Bolen noted that the SAF coalition has produced a new, online capability for people in the industry to pledge their support for the fuels. The pledge is available at futureofsustainablefuel.com, an industry website sponsored by the SAF stakeholder coalition. The pledge reads, in part: “I support SAF, and I urge leaders in government and across the industry supply chain to do so as well. The increased availability of these fuels will dramatically strengthen the goal of business aviation to reach its long-term carbon-reduction goals.”
Sustainable aviation fuels are a central focus of NBAA’s 2019 convention. Ahead of the show, a number of airplanes featured at the event’s aircraft display at Henderson Executive Airport (HND) arrived having been fueled by SAF, and more are expected to depart using the fuel, which is being made available at HND for the first time.
On Oct. 21, NBAA and the Clark County Commissioner’s office held a media event focused in part on the collaboration between local officials and NBAA in bringing SAF to Henderson Executive Airport, the location for the NBAA-BACE aircraft display.