US and German aviation biofuel interests forge partnership to showcase technology at ILA Berlin Air Show
US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addresses Alternative Aviation Fuels Showcase at Paris Air Show 2011
Wed 28 March 2012 – A growing affiliation between the US-based Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) and its new German counterpart aireg will be brought into focus in September when the two associations come together to draw attention to aviation biofuel developments at the ILA Berlin Air Show 2012. A highlight during the show will be a one-day high-level conference in which senior policy-makers and industry will discuss the prospects for biofuels in the aviation sector. CAAFI has been behind previous showcase events at the Farnborough Air Show in 2010 and the Paris Air Show in 2009 and 2011, which drew a number of US biofuel companies as exhibitors alongside the running of daily seminars. It has decided to skip Farnborough this year in favour of Berlin, citing Olympics issues and the attraction of working with aireg.
“Key to the conference and the Alternative Aviation Fuels Pavilion in Berlin is the strong relationship that CAAFI and its members have been building for several years with German interests,” Richard Altman, CAAFI’s Executive Director, told GreenAir. “That interest has blossomed over the last year with the formation of the aireg private/public partnership.”
He said CAAFI was disappointed not to be able to support both ILA and Farnborough, but “the proximity of Farnborough to the Olympics, with the higher cost and room availability issues, coupled with the attraction of working with a single focused partner in aireg, creates a rationale for focusing on ILA this year.”
Siegfried Knecht, Chairman of the Board of aireg, said there were great opportunities in making sustainable aviation fuels one of the major attractions at ILA and he was expecting significant interest from industry, media and the general public. The signing of a planned US-German intergovernmental agreement, focusing on the bilateral advancement of R&D in alternative aviation fuels, will be a major highlight, said Knecht.
Dr Peter Ramsauer, the German Secretary of Transportation, will be among leaders addressing the conference on September 12. Although US Secretaries of Transportation and Agriculture attended the Showcase at last year’s Paris Air Show, Altman is unable to confirm as yet the level of US government participation. However, he adds: “As both CAAFI and aireg are public-private partnerships, the engagement of German and US government officials for the conference is a goal that aireg and CAAFI private sector members are pursuing. Both governments have shown strong support for the efforts of their private sector.”
Aireg was set up last year and now has 27 members along the alternative aviation fuel value chain, including four German airlines, biofuel companies, research, academia and aerospace manufacturers (see article).
Knecht, whose day job is with EADS Deutschland, said aireg welcomed companies and research institutions, foreign or domestic, to contribute to its efforts.
“With this all-encompassing approach to sustainable aviation fuels, we will substantially contribute to the goals for carbon-neutral aviation.”
This year’s biennial ILA Berlin Air Show takes place September 11-16 at the new Berlin ExpoCenter Airport exhibition grounds, together with a dedicated conference centre, sited adjacent to Berlin’s new Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport that is due to start operations on June 3.
Knecht says the Alternative Aviation Fuels Pavilion will showcase developments along the entire supply chain, including leading feedstock producers and biorefining technology suppliers, with an on-site presentation area allowing exhibitors to promote their businesses and technologies, as well as provide opportunities for private meetings.
The Pavilion is being organised by Kallman Worldwide, which was responsible for the previous European showcases as well as last year’s CAAFI Conference and Expo in Washington DC.
“Since Kallman Worldwide first became involved with alternative aviation fuels stakeholders in 2008, we have offered our global expertise and relationships to help develop a strategic international marketing/staging plan,” said Tom Kallman, President and CEO. “We have continuously been looking to expand the customer base for alternative aviation fuels suppliers.
“With the Berlin Air Show 2012, we’re reaching directly into the large Central European aviation market. The high demand there for alternative fuels, plus the strong capabilities of all the essential players – suppliers, buyers, government and financiers – combine to make a strong showing in this marketplace the next logical step for our alternative aviation fuels clients.
“Simply put, we’re bringing alternative aviation fuels around the world and helping to connect business face-to-face. That is truly critical to keep the industry moving ahead.”