Business aviation leaders have pledged to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. This latest agreement builds on the original business aviation commitment on climate change (BACCC) made in 2009, with the industry pledging to continue its goal of increasing fuel efficiency by two per cent per year between 2020 and 2030. The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and its 15 member associations have agreed to further contribute to climate action efforts through a combination of measures in close collaboration with governments and stakeholders across the air transport industry.
IBAC director general Kurt Edwards said:“This is an ambitious goal, but I am optimistic we can get there by working together. We as an industry have been successful leaders in new technology to drive fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Now we go to the next level by engaging key stakeholders with a common goal to decarbonise our industry.”
The industry recognises it will need a substantial shift in aircraft innovation. GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce noted that technology advancements would be a key component to reaching the milestone, pointing to lighter materials, reduction of parts through additive manufacturing, propulsion innovation, aerodynamic optimisation through composites, advanced alloys, skin coatings and active winglets as just some of the many areas where further improvements will have impact.
“As higher blends of SAF become approved for production, we will be able to further optimise fuel efficiency through technological advancements to achieve our environmental goals,” he said. “Our industry also has a proven track record of capitalising upon innovations in the air traffic control infrastructure to further reduce emissions. Additionally, dramatic improvements in avionics and data communications capabilities will increase operational contributions to reducing emissions. When merged with the exciting new designs employing electric distributed propulsion, hydrogen and SAF hybrid aircraft, we are confident innovation will keep us marching toward our net zero goals.”
IBAC director general Kurt Edwards mentioned the other main focus of the updated BACCC: increased production, availability and use of SAF, and adoption of new market-based initiatives: “SAF and initiatives like carbon offsets will continue to be a key piece of the puzzle in carbon emissions reduction.”
Referring to the industry-wide commitment, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen added: “This is a testament to the value of a unified partnership among operators, manufacturers, fuelers, service providers and many others. With our collective focus and determination, we can achieve carbon neutrality in our lifetimes.”