They’re right to place this issue at the top of the agenda. Climate change, emissions and sustainable practices are priorities for Business Aviation, which is why the sector committed in November 2009 to address climate change in all aspects of our work. That includes optimizing areas such as operations and infrastructure (air traffic control, ground handling), as well as reducing the impact of our use of jet fuel.
This year, the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), International Business Aviation Council, National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), supported by the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) and Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) introduced the Business Aviation Guide to the Use of Sustainable Alternative Fuel (SAJF), which focuses on raising awareness and adoption of available and emerging alternative jet-fuel options.
Technology & Offsets
The industry also remains at the forefront of new technology developments such as winglets – the wingtip devices intended to improve flight efficiency – and ever-more sophisticated avionics. Over the next two years, Business Aviation will also roll out market-based measures and other financial mechanisms to drive offsets in emissions through the cap and trade system.
Aircraft of the future
There is of course a lot of public interest in solar energy. As planes fly above the clouds, they can be exposed to direct sunlight – at least during the day – and panels could be placed on the wings. Solar Impulse demonstrated that solar power could potentially work, but we are still a long way from carrying passengers onboard such aircraft. Near-term, solar energy may be best suited for secondary systems like in-flight entertainment. The next big thing in aviation sustainability, in our view, will be electric propulsion.
Overall, these incremental changes in technology, and the new rules and guidelines being defined by Business Aviation in partnership with governments and air transport regulators, will aid our pursuit to make the sector more sustainable.
To download the Business Aviation Guide visit FutureOfSustainableFuel.com.