CAAFI's new Executive Director, Steve Csonka (photo: ATAG)
Fri 2 Nov 2012 – After six years in the pilot’s seat at the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), Executive Director Rich Altman is handing over control to Steve Csonka, formerly Director of Environmental Strategy at GE Aviation. Altman will continue as a member of the CAAFI leadership team as Executive Director Emeritus, focusing on US East Coast initiatives and implementation of private/public work plans developed under the umbrella of US bilateral agreements recently signed with Australia and Germany. CAAFI is a coalition of airlines, manufacturers and airports, along with the FAA Office of Environment and Energy. It has grown to over 600 stakeholder contributors including over 60 fuel producers and nearly a dozen US government agencies dedicated to introducing sustainable fuels to the aviation industry, and has entered into international bilateral agreements with countries on three continents.
During his tenure, Altman has overseen CAAFI’s contribution to the successful approval for airline use of two alternative jet fuels, the development of environmental sustainability evaluation tools and the focusing of key government and industry resources as well as funding to advance alternative jet fuel development and deployment.
A co-founder of CAAFI, Altman is a 45-year veteran of the aviation industry and was previously with Pratt & Whitney, where he served in advanced programmes and business development functions, and led the Green Engine Program.
Welcoming Csonka’s appointment, Altman said: “Steve has been a dedicated member of the CAAFI Steering Group since its formation. He has technical skills in forming new enterprises and, as importantly, the passion and leadership skills to propel CAAFI forwards.”
Csonka has 27 years’ technical, operational and business experience in the aviation sector, which includes time at American Airlines. He led GE Aviation’s ecomagination initiatives and engagement efforts with the alternative fuels sector, which included deployment activities for sustainable biofuel production in Ohio. His work has encompassed engagement with the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), ICAO, regulators and policy-makers.
“I look forward to leading CAAFI and to accelerating our efforts to achieve near-term development and deployment of affordable, sustainable alternative jet fuels,” said Csonka. “We will build on the firm foundation established by Rich and CAAFI’s airline, airport, manufacturer and FAA sponsors. I am pleased to have Rich’s continued support on key strategic efforts.”
A key sponsor is Airlines for America, whose Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich commented: “Steve is an outstanding choice to lead CAAFI in the coming years and to build upon its achievements and unrelenting focus.”
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