The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has welcomed the introduction of the Sustainable Skies Act, which creates a performance-based blender's tax credit to incentivise the production and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), an alternative to conventional jet fuel that will ensure real reductions in the aviation sector's global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Specifically, the bill would establish a long-term blender's tax credit ranging from $1.50/gallon up to $2.00/gallon for fuels that achieve a 100 per cent GHG emissions reduction.
“This important legislation is key toward the business aviation community's aggressive work to meet its sustainability objectives,” says NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “We applaud the leadership shown by Reps. Brad Schneider, Dan Kildee and Julia Brownley in introducing this bill, which supports and strengthens a nascent industry that is critical to reducing aviation emissions.”
SAF is a low-carbon synthetic jet fuel derived from sustainable feedstocks, including cellulosic biomass, wastes and residues, waste steel mill gases and captured CO2, which can be used safely in any turbine-powered aircraft. SAF potentially can reduce lifecycle GHG by up to 80 per cent compared to conventional jet fuel and is considered pivotal to achieving the aviation industry's goal of a 50 per cent net reduction in CO2 emissions in 2050.
Despite its benefits, the scalability of SAF is currently difficult and considerably more expensive than conventional jet fuel. Through a dedicated federal tax credit, similar to those applied to other renewable fuels early in their development, the production of SAF can be accelerated, and the fuel can become commercially viable.
“NBAA members are committed to a safe, secure and sustainable future for business aviation, and SAF is critically important to that vision,” Bolen says. “The dedicated blender's tax credit will be a game-changer, and NBAA will leverage our advocacy resources to support the bill.”
The General Aviation Manufactures Association (GAMA) has also praised the introduction of the Sustainable Skies Act.
“The general and business aviation industry is steadfast in its commitment to environmental sustainability with advances in aircraft technologies that result in more efficient wing, rotor, fuselage and engine design as well as revolutionary innovations like hybrid and electric aircraft. While we continue to advance these solutions, we also recognise that the increased use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will also play a key role in reducing aviation's CO2 emissions,” says Pete Bunce, GAMA president and CEO.
“The Sustainable Skies Act will help spur the private sector investments needed to boost the production, distribution and uptake of SAF. A blender's tax credit will also assist in making SAF a cost-competitive alternative to conventional jet fuel. We applaud the leadership shown by Representatives Schneider, Kildee and Brownley to put forth this tax credit, which will help our industry meet our long-standing environmental focus on addressing climate change.”
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) joined a coalition of over 60 organisations in applauding the introduction of the US congressional legislation. NATA president and CEO Timothy Obitts comments: “The aviation industry stands together in its commitment to shift toward renewable energy sources in order to achieve its emission-reduction goals. The broad backing of this incentive is pivotal to effecting real change in the proliferation and competitiveness of SAF. The Sustainable Skies Act is a significant stride toward reaching a sustainable future.”
In a letter of support for the Sustainable Skies Act, the coalition noted the potential of the performance-based tax credit to provide the stability needed to incentivise advanced biofuel producers to focus on and invest in SAF production, as well as to “help make the low-carbon alternative to conventional jet fuel more cost-competitive, while driving the SAF industry towards investing in SAF with the greatest emissions reduction potential.”