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Airlines and NGOs spell out differing positions over CORSIA implementation and the future of the Aviation EU ETS | CORSIA SARPs
Airlines and NGOs spell out differing positions over CORSIA implementation and the future of the Aviation EU ETS
Tue 18 Sept 2018 - International airline associations have written a joint open letter to the European Commission urging it to ensure the ICAO proposed rules governing the CORSIA carbon offsetting scheme are adopted uniformly and in their entirety throughout Europe. They also call for the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) requirements of the EU ETS to be aligned with those of CORSIA in order to avoid an added administrative burden, and for all international intra-EEA flights to be removed from the scope of the EU ETS from January 2021 when the first voluntary phase of CORSIA starts. In response, a group of Europe-based NGOs has called on the Commission to resist any moves to amend, barring certain non-essential MRV provisions, the EU ETS directive and for the EU to reserve its position on CORSIA until a review of the ICAO scheme has taken place. Read more ...

United operates longest-ever transatlantic biofuel flight and pledges to halve GHG emissions by 2050 | United Airlines,Agrisoma,Carinata,Alt Air
United operates longest-ever transatlantic biofuel flight and pledges to halve GHG emissions by 2050
Mon 17 Sept 2018 - United Airlines has operated the longest non-stop transatlantic biofuel journey to date when a 30/70 blend of biojet produced from Carinata oilseed and conventional jet fuel powered a Boeing 787 flight from San Francisco to Zurich. The biofuel content of 16,000 gallons was refined and supplied by World Energy's AltAir Fuels plant in Paramount, California. United says it is the first airline globally to use sustainable aviation biofuel on an ongoing daily basis and has sourced more than 2 million gallons since 2016. It claims responsibility for over half of the industry's current commitments to biofuel usage. To mark the flight, the airline said it was becoming the first US carrier to publicly pledge to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2050 from a 2005 level. United CEO Oscar Munoz said with rising fuel prices, the financial case for sustainability was clear. Read more ...

Gap between the most and least fuel efficient transatlantic airlines has increased over past three years, finds ICCT study | ICCT
Gap between the most and least fuel efficient transatlantic airlines has increased over past three years, finds ICCT study
Mon 17 Sept 2018 - Transatlantic airline fuel efficiency between 2014 and 2017 improved by an average 1 per cent per year as a result of the use of new aircraft with lower fuel burn but is less than the industry goal, finds a new study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). The study analysed 20 airlines operating non-stop flights between the United States and Europe and found the carbon intensity gap between the most and least efficient carriers increased from 51 per cent in 2014, when ICCT published its first study, to 63 per cent in 2017. Unsurprisingly, the new low-cost entrants into the transatlantic market, Norwegian Air and WOW performed better than the bigger mainline carriers with their business models of lower seating densities and higher percentage of premium seats. However, the underlying fuel burn of an airline's fleet was found to be the most important driver overall, accounting for around 40 per cent of the variation in fuel efficiency across carriers. Read more ...

LanzaTech's low-carbon jet fuel ready for take-off as Virgin Atlantic plans for first commercial flight in October | Virgin Atlantic,LanzaTech
LanzaTech's low-carbon jet fuel ready for take-off as Virgin Atlantic plans for first commercial flight in October
Fri 14 Sept 2018 - Virgin Atlantic will undertake a passenger flight in October using for the first time low-carbon fuel produced through its partnership with LanzaTech. This follows a decision by members of the fuel standards body ASTM in April to include alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK) produced from ethanol as an approved blending component of conventional jet fuel for commercial flights. The flight is a major step for both LanzaTech and the airline, which first committed seven years ago to developing and commercialising the low-carbon fuel from pioneering technology that captures and recycles carbon-rich industrial waste gases from steel mills into ethanol. The Chicago-based company is now looking to build a first commercial-scale ATJ plant in the UK. Read more ...

Neste signs biojet agreement with Alaska Airlines as plans are dropped for Geneva Airport project | Neste
Neste signs biojet agreement with Alaska Airlines as plans are dropped for Geneva Airport project
Fri 14 Sept 2018 - Finnish renewable jet fuel producer Neste has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Alaska Airlines to expand the use of sustainable aviation fuels by the carrier. The two partners say they will work closely together to design, create and implement solutions to lay the groundwork for a wider adoption of renewable fuels within the airline industry. Announcing the MoU, Alaska Airlines and Neste said they shared the view that closer collaboration within the industry and key partners would "help create the 'lift' necessary to help move aviation in the right direction." This follows news that a pilot project to replace 1 per cent of the conventional fuel used at Geneva Airport by Neste's fuel has been cancelled. Read more ...

Virgin Australia and Brisbane Airport complete biojet trial using general fuel supply system | Virgin Australia,Brisbane Airport,Gevo
Virgin Australia and Brisbane Airport complete biojet trial using general fuel supply system
Wed 12 Sept 2018 - A trial has ended at Brisbane Airport to supply aircraft with blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) through the airport's general fuel supply system. Partners in the initiative included US-based renewable jet fuel producer Gevo and the Queensland government, with Virgin Australia leading the procurement and blending of the fuel. The biojet was used to fuel 195 domestic and international flights departing Brisbane that travelled more than 430,000 kilometres between them. The airline said it hoped to fuel more flights from Brisbane with biojet over the next 12-18 months. Gevo's alcohol-to-jet fuel was shipped from its plant in Texas, having been derived from isobutanol produced in Minnesota. However, the Queensland government is supporting moves to commercialise local production of SAF in the state. Read more ...

Heathrow says airlines continue switch to cleaner aircraft and announces winners of first sustainability prizes | Heathrow Airport
Heathrow says airlines continue switch to cleaner aircraft and announces winners of first sustainability prizes
Mon 10 Sept 2018 - London's Heathrow Airport says the trend by airlines to switch to newer, quieter aircraft is continuing, with more than one in five aircraft landing at the airport this year expected to be Chapter 14 Low compliant, the quietest aircraft available, an increase from the 16 per cent in 2017. The airport has published its latest Fly Quiet and Green quarterly league table for the period April to June, which shows Aer Lingus taking over top spot from Scandinavian Airlines, followed closely by British Airways' short-haul fleet. Heathrow has also announced the winner of its first Centre of Excellence Sustainable Innovation Prize. Start-up Energy Crop Solutions will receive £20,000 ($26,000) in funding and the opportunity to use the airport as a test bed to explore the applicability and benefits of the latest willow cultivars for local communities and Heathrow's biomass boiler. Read more ...

SpiceJet operates India's first biofuel-powered flight as Indonesia seeks US and European help on palm oil biojet | India,SpiceJet,CSIR-IIP,Indonesia
SpiceJet operates India's first biofuel-powered flight as Indonesia seeks US and European help on palm oil biojet
Mon 3 Sept 2018 - Low-cost carrier SpiceJet last week operated India's first test flight powered by biojet fuel. A Bombardier Q400 aircraft flew the 236-kilometre route from Dehradun in the norther part of India to the capital New Delhi using a 75/25 blend of conventional jet kerosene and a biofuel sourced from the jatropha crop. The biofuel was developed by the CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP), one of the constituent laboratories of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research based in Dehradun. The airline says the fuel meets the ASTM specification and the Pratt & Whitney and Bombardier standards for commercial aircraft application. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Indonesia has asked for its companies be allowed to build palm oil-based jet biofuel plants in the US and France as a condition for its airlines to buy Boeing and Airbus aircraft. Read more ...

The sky’s the limit for sustainable aviation fuels, says Canadian government as it launches competition | GARDN,Air Canada,WestJet,Natural Resources Canada
The sky’s the limit for sustainable aviation fuels, says Canadian government as it launches competition
Thu 23 Aug 2018 - Reducing aviation's environmental footprint is critical in the transition to a lower-carbon economy and cleaner fuels are central to those efforts, believes Natural Resources Canada, which has launched an initiative to stimulate the development of sustainable aviation fuels. The government says it is challenging Canadians to develop clean, affordable fuel for the aviation sector to further reduce its carbon footprint and fight climate change. The 'Sky's the Limit Challenge' consists of two competitions with significant prize money to develop innovative SAF development solutions and also produce enough made-in-Canada biojet to fuel a cross-Canadian commercial flight. Partners in the initiative include Air Canada, WestJet and GARDN. Read more ...

Norwegian government closes consultation on a 1% mandate proposal for aviation biofuels | Red Rock Biofuels,Avinor,Norway
Norwegian government closes consultation on a 1% mandate proposal for aviation biofuels
Fri 17 Aug 2018 - A consultation by Norway's Ministry of Climate and Environment on a proposal to introduce a mandate requiring all commercial jet fuel sold in the country to contain one per cent of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from 1 January 2019 closed yesterday. The intention is to bring the mandate into line with road transport requirements for fuel suppliers, with the SAF percentage expected to increase to 30 per cent by 2030. Theye Veen, CFO of aviation biofuel supplier SkyNRG, which has established a major presence in the Nordic region, called the proposal a brave move that was achievable under the right conditions. Meanwhile, Red Rock Biofuels has broken ground on its new $320 million Lakeview biorefinery in the US that is slated to produce 15 million gallons of renewable jet fuel annually when fully operational. Read more ...

Sweden's Visby Airport announces its operations are now fossil-free | Swedavia,Fly Green Fund
Sweden's Visby Airport announces its operations are now fossil-free
Thu 16 Aug 2018 - Swedish airport operator Swedavia has claimed its operations at Visby Airport have become entirely fossil-free. Swedavia is aiming to have all 10 of its airports fossil-free by 2020 at the latest, with Visby achieving the objective two years ahead of the deadline. Carbon emissions have decreased from around 300 tonnes to zero in the space of 10 years as a result of efficiency measures and replacing all fossil fuel-powered vehicles - from fire trucks to snow removal equipment. Energy consumption has also fallen steadily over the period and the airport’s energy is provided by renewable electricity. Sweden is targeting its entire domestic air transport sector to be fossil-free by 2030 and to include international air transport by 2045 as a result of large-scale use of aviation biofuels. Read more ...

Wildlife traffickers highly dependent on a vulnerable air transport sector, finds report | ROUTES,Wildlife trafficking,C4ADS
Wildlife traffickers highly dependent on a vulnerable air transport sector, finds report
Wed 15 Aug 2018 - Wildlife traffickers are highly dependent on commercial air transport to move their contraband quickly, where they continue to exploit vulnerabilities in the system, and instances of trafficking have been recorded in 136 countries around the world. A new analysis by ROUTES Partnership finds wildlife seizures in air transport more than quadrupled between 2009 and 2017, with seizure numbers in 2017 increasing by 40 per cent over the previous year. Traffickers have become adept at exploiting lagging technology, corruption, capacity problems and other issues within airports, and often target specific airports or flight routes. The 200-page 'In Plane Sight' report is considered the most comprehensive assessment of its kind to date and reveals the movement, trends and methods of wildlife traffickers in the global air transport sector. It also comes up with more than a dozen recommendations based on seizure data for preventing wildlife trafficking through the sector. Read more ...

Legal challenges against Heathrow expansion filed in High Court over environmental and climate concerns | Heathrow Airport,Greenpeace,Friends of the Earth,Heathrow Hub
Legal challenges against Heathrow expansion filed in High Court over environmental and climate concerns
Tue 14 Aug 2018 - Lawyers acting for a consortium of local authorities have issued judicial review proceedings in the High Court against the UK's Transport Secretary over the expansion of Heathrow Airport. The five councils claim the government's Airports National Policy Statement (NPS), which sets out support for the project to add a third runway, fails to properly deal with the impact on air quality, climate change, noise and surface access, and was a flawed consultation process. The challenge is also supported by the Mayor of London and Greenpeace. Lawyers acting for another environmental campaign group, Friends of the Earth (FoE), have also started formal legal action at the High Court on the basis that allowing the building of a new runway is unlawful as it fails to address the UK's climate change obligations. Read more ...

Airspace efficiency improvements by NATS and FABEC states result in lower fuel burn and emissions for airlines | NATS,FABEC
Airspace efficiency improvements by NATS and FABEC states result in lower fuel burn and emissions for airlines
Mon 13 Aug 2018 - UK air traffic services company NATS reports more than 200,000 tonnes of aircraft CO2 emissions were saved last year as a result of improvements from more fuel efficient ways of using UK airspace. NATS calculates the reduction has saved airlines more than £30 million ($38m) in annual fuel costs over the year and resulted in an overall cut of 6.4 per cent in CO2 per flight since 2008. Progress has been achieved by using more direct routes and improved vertical profiles, the use of continuous instead of stepped climbs and descents, and the introduction of new air traffic management technologies. Meanwhile, almost 13,000 tonnes of airline CO2 emissions have been saved as a result of seasonal arrangements between six European air navigation service providers (ANSPs) in charge of the FABEC airspace. Read more ...

Finnair study finds travelling public would pay extra to reduce environmental impact of flights | Finnair
Finnair study finds travelling public would pay extra to reduce environmental impact of flights
Mon 13 Aug 2018 - According to a consumer research study by Finnair, almost all Finns - 94 per cent - want to reduce the emissions from their air travel and three-quarters are willing to pay extra as part of the ticket price, but want the charge to be used directly for environmental purposes. Respondents supported the use of biofuels (55 per cent) and carbon capture (28 per cent) from forests and other biomass as the best alternatives for reducing the environmental impacts of flying. Only 11 per cent, however, were in favour of a tax on flights, with 73 per cent responding such a tax should not be introduced if the proceeds could not be directly attributed to environmental efforts. The study also showed the majority of Finns were unaware of international market mechanisms to address aviation emissions. Read more ...

UK government announces major funding for green aerospace R&D and backing for sustainable aviation fuels | SAF SIG,KTN,Velocys
UK government announces major funding for green aerospace R&D and backing for sustainable aviation fuels
Wed 18 July 2018 - Following recent grants awarded to two projects developing potential commercial-scale sustainable aviation fuel production, the UK government has pledged £343 million ($448m) public and industry investment for R&D into cleaner and quieter civil aircraft. The government says a principle aim is for the UK to be at the forefront of the revolution in electric and hybrid planes, with £255 million going towards 18 new research and technology projects. A major beneficiary will be the E-Fan X project under development by Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens. Meanwhile, delegates from government, aerospace, fuel specialists, airlines and academia took part in a conference in Birmingham last week to seek out collaborative opportunities for a future UK sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry.  Read more ...

A new generation of supersonic commercial aircraft could have high environmental consequences, says ICCT study | ICCT,SST,Boom,Aerion,Spike
A new generation of supersonic commercial aircraft could have high environmental consequences, says ICCT study
Tue 17 July 2018 - The last commercial supersonic flight took place 15 years ago with the final grounding of the Anglo-French Concorde due to poor economics, unviable fuel efficiency and noise bans. However, the revival of passenger supersonic transport aircraft (SST) may be just seven years away as three US start-up companies develop a new generation of civil aircraft to fill a void in a market they believe still exists. Aerion and Spike, aimed at business jet operators, and Boom, with a commercial airliner capable of carrying up to 55 passengers, have the backing of a number of major aerospace manufacturers. Boom claims to have options from five airlines, including Japan Airlines and Virgin. Although the three say they can overcome the fuel and noise drawbacks of Concorde, a new paper by ICCT expects them to exceed existing international standards on aircraft pollution, noise and CO2 emissions. Read more ...

SAS pledges to use renewable jet fuels on all domestic flights by 2030 and partners with Swedish oil refiner Preem | SAS,Preem
SAS pledges to use renewable jet fuels on all domestic flights by 2030 and partners with Swedish oil refiner Preem
Fri 13 July 2018 - Scandinavian airline SAS has signed a letter of intent with Swedish petroleum company Preem to produce renewable aviation fuels using forestry residues and other waste materials. SAS has set a target to replace all its jet fuel used on domestic flights with biofuel by 2030. With refineries in Gothenburg and Lysekil, Preem refines and sells petroleum products to companies and consumers in Sweden and abroad, and is one of the country's biggest exporters. SAS says it has adopted a strategy to reduce its emissions and climate impact on a long-term basis and if the collaboration with Preem progresses then the two partners expect to agree a long-term jet biofuel supply contract. SAS has also announced that backdated to April 1, it will compensate CO2 emissions generated by customers flying on its Youth Tickets. Read more ...

Eurocontrol report highlights action needed by aviation industry to deal with impacts of climate change | Eurocontrol,adaptation
Eurocontrol report highlights action needed by aviation industry to deal with impacts of climate change
Tue 10 July 2018 - Climate change will damage aviation infrastructure, alter patterns of passenger demand and lead to more operational disruption, yet only half of industry organisations have begun to plan for this, says a Eurocontrol report looking at challenges facing commercial aviation in Europe between now and 2040. Under a 'most likely' scenario, the number of flights within Europe could grow at a rate of 1.9 per cent per year to reach 16.2 million flights a year by 2040, or 53 per cent higher than today. However, Europe is already struggling to cope with existing levels of traffic and a lack of airport capacity will lead to even higher delays and 1.5 million unaccommodated flights per year by 2040. As well as a capacity challenge, a future climate with changes to temperatures, rainfall, wind and storm patterns, and the sea level requires industry to move faster with adaptation, says the intergovernmental air traffic management body. Read more ...

China refutes reports it has withdrawn from the voluntary phases of CORSIA although its concerns remain | China,CORSIA
China refutes reports it has withdrawn from the voluntary phases of CORSIA although its concerns remain
Sat 7 July 2018 – Reports that China has withdrawn from the voluntary pilot and first phases of CORSIA, the global carbon offsetting scheme for international aviation, are inaccurate, a representative of China's delegation to ICAO has told GreenAir. He said China had yet to make a decision on whether to join CORSIA from the beginning and had been surprised that ICAO had continued to list it on the ICAO CORSIA website as an early participant without consultation. With the recent adoption by the ICAO Council of the CORSIA SARPs, China noted action had now been taken by ICAO to correct the listing. However, said the representative, China has concerns over the direction of CORSIA discussions and reserved its right under the Chicago Convention to take further action, including filing a difference to the SARPs. Read more ...

Gatwick and Lyon airports step up energy initiatives to maintain carbon neutral status | Gatwick Airport,Lyon-Saint Exupéry,Haven Power,Vinci Airports
Gatwick and Lyon airports step up energy initiatives to maintain carbon neutral status
Fri 6 July 2018 - Following its recent certification renewal as a carbon-neutral airport under the industry's Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme, London's Gatwick Airport has signed a new three-year deal with Haven Power to continue supplies of 100 per cent renewable electricity. This follows a previous five-year agreement that is credited as a major factor in achieving the carbon-neutral status for the UK's second-largest airport. With electricity accounting for 75 per cent of the ground operations carbon footprint, Gatwick says it is on course for reaching its renewable energy target of 25 per cent by 2020. Meanwhile, the stabilising of its electricity consumption in spite of a 40 per cent increase in the number of passengers has helped enable Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport to renew its carbon-neutral status under the programme. Read more ...

LanzaTech bags second advanced jet fuel grant from UK government for a first commercial-scale ATJ facility | RTFO,LanzaTech
LanzaTech bags second advanced jet fuel grant from UK government for a first commercial-scale ATJ facility
Wed 4 July 2018 - Alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) fuel technology company LanzaTech has secured a £410,000 ($540,000) grant from the UK Department for Transport (DfT) to help with project development funding for building the world's first large-scale ATJ facility producing commercial quantities of low carbon jet fuel in the UK. The grant from the DfT's Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition is for a similar amount awarded to the Velocys/British Airways municipal solid waste to jet fuel project that was announced recently. With its airline partner Virgin Atlantic and others, LanzaTech is planning a 40-50 million litres per year plant that would convert ethanol produced from waste industrial gases into jet fuel. Earlier this year, ethanol was added to ASTM's specification for ATJ synthetic paraffinic kerosene. Read more ...