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US congress promotes aviation fuel sustainability
A group of aviation stakeholders has welcomed US congressional legislation including provisions aimed squarely at promoting the development and use of sustainable aviation fuels.

The US House and Senate have approved sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) legislations as part of a fiscal year 2020 appropriations package. The language contains a renewal-and-extension of the biodiesel tax incentive, for which certain fuels are eligible. The funding measure restores the expired Section 40A biodiesel credit through 2022. Under that provision, a tax credit is available to qualified producers, or blenders of sustainable fuels derived from biomass, one of several SAF pathways, that meet applicable ASTM specifications.

The biodiesel tax incentive remains critical to the industry's efforts to research, produce and scale SAF use. Ten years ago, the business aviation community made a commitment to sustainability and carbon neutral growth. Utilisation of SAF by business aviation operators is an important part of this commitment, along with rapid and continuing advancements in fuel efficiency, advanced aerodynamics and noise reduction.

The Sustainable Aviation Fuels Coalition, which includes the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), has demonstrated the safe, real-world use of SAF and business aviation's commitment to sustainability.

The stakeholders group is part of a growing coalition advocating for a broader and long-term SAF tax credit applying to all pathways, and promoting an investment in production capacity.

“This is a great example of the aviation industry working together and pushing for an incentive from Congress for companies to invest in the production of sustainable aviation fuels,” says NATA COO Timothy Obitts. “These tax incentives, coupled with state initiatives like California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard programme, will help create the supply of SAF that the business aviation industry is demanding. SAF is one of the critical pieces that will help the industry achieve cleaner skies for future generations.”

“We are glad that Congress took action to extend the biodiesel tax credit, which benefits certain sustainable aviation fuels,” adds GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “The general aviation industry is aggressively promoting the use of sustainable fuel, and we will continue to work with policymakers and other stakeholders to support its use. It is our commitment that 2020 will build upon the momentum of this past year through a March SAF summit in Washington and other events and initiatives.”

“Congressional action this week to renew and extend the biodiesel tax incentive demonstrates continued US leadership among its international peers to encourage the production and use of SAF, a critical technology to reducing aviation's greenhouse-gas emissions,” notes IBAC director general Kurt Edwards. “At the International Civil Aviation Organisation, IBAC, on behalf of the global business aviation sector, has called on all governments to put in place such policies, which will enable the industry to grow sustainably while bringing economic activity and connectivity to all corners of the world.”

“The NBAA's 11,000 member companies are committed to increasing the utilisation of SAF in our daily operations,” adds NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “These innovative fuels can reduce C02 emissions by up to 80 per cent, and they are a critical part of business aviation's commitment to sustainability.”

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