ATA calls for commitment on alternative jet fuels and releases guiding principles for suppliers
Fri 25 Apr 2008 - In the wake of rising fuel prices, energy security and environmental concerns, the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) has released a set of guiding principles for reducing carbon output, conserving fuel and finding jet fuel alternatives. ATA is also encouraging potential fuel suppliers to work more closely with current research and development initiatives on alternative fuels.
The principles, titled ‘Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels: The ATA Commitment’, are designed to bring cleaner jet fuel alternatives to market while ensuring safety, increasing reliability and promoting economic, feasibility, says the ATA, which represents airlines transporting over 90% of all US passenger and cargo traffic. “We recognize that this effort presents significant technical and financing challenges. Further, we believe that we must proactively evaluate the commercial challenges associated with developing promising technologies that can meet our needs. We commit to work with future suppliers who potentially can integrate alternative fuels into our [airline] operations that are consistent with the principles.”
The principles which prospective alternative fuel suppliers are asked to address cover:
·Supply reliability; and
ATA is encouraging these suppliers to work with the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), a consortium of manufacturers, airlines, airports, government agencies, universities and mainstream jet fuel suppliers, to promote the research and development of alternative jet fuels. CAAFI, which ATA co-sponsors, coordinates research and development work on alternative fuels, including technical specifications, environmental aspects, production and distribution. Among the CAAFI goals are certification of a 50% synthetic fuel by the end of this year and certification of biojet fuels by 2013.
ATA says it is seeking to work with potential suppliers to identify commercial terms and strategies that individual suppliers and purchasers might adopt to accelerate deployment. “It is expected that alternative fuels showing promise of earlier deployment will receive priority,” promises the ATA. “Relevant commercial terms could include consideration of short and long term purchasing contracts, direct investment and other innovative financing mechanisms to overcome financing challenges associated with bringing non-traditional jet fuels to market.”
Commenting on the release of the guidelines, ATA’s President and CEO, James C. May, said: “We must stay uniquely focused on further reducing the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions and on helping America enhance its energy security. With jet fuel prices reaching unforeseen highs on a daily basis – so high that now one-third of an average ticket goes to pay for fuel alone – and given the environmental challenges associated with traditional fossil fuels, the airline industry is even more committed to implementing alternative fuels on a broad scale.”