Having received its first delivery of SAF, Dallas Fort Worth International airport (DFW), in collaboration with Avfuel Corporation and Neste, has become the first airport in the US to test a collaborative circular economy project in the aviation sector.
DFW is the second busiest airport in the world, and the SAF delivery is part of a pilot project demonstrating the commercial and technical viability of SAF, while showcasing the potential to close the circularity loop at the airport which provides its own raw material for the production of renewable fuels.
“The introduction of sustainable aviation fuel to DFW airport marks a major milestone in our effort to reduce our sector's overall carbon footprint,” says vice president of environmental affairs Robert Horton. “We recognise our future success depends on our ability to protect our natural resources, and we are committed to continuing to serve as an industry leader in sustainable practices.”
The circularity project upcycles and reuses waste materials across the value chain. It begins at the airport, where Neste, via its subsidiary Mahoney Environmental, collects used cooking oil from more than 200 concessionaires who prepare and serve food to airport customers. Neste converts this waste material into renewable fuels, which replace fossil fuel use in the global transport system.
To complete the circle, Avfuel has safely supplied a load of this Neste MY SAF to DFW Corporate Aviation, the airport's full service FBO, for its business aviation customers. The 8,000 gallon demonstrative load of SAF reduces carbon emissions by 19 metric tons, a reduction that could grow significantly if more SAF enters the airport's fuel pool. Neste's SAF, in neat form and over the life cycle, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 per cent compared to fossil jet fuel.
Overall, DFW expects the pilot circular economy programme to deliver the same climate benefit as would reducing to zero the emissions from 70 passenger vehicles over the course of a year.
DFW, Avfuel and Neste will continue to explore opportunities to bring more SAF to the airport, perhaps making the fuel available to commercial and cargo airlines. DFW's goal is to become a net zero operation by 2030.
“Together we're charting a bold new flight path that shows airports how they can achieve their climate goals faster, and ultimately enable flight operators, businesses and passengers to fly with a smaller carbon footprint,” says Neste vice president of renewable aviation in North America Chris Cooper. “We're able to do this because all parts of the SAF value chain came together; the airport, the fuel supplier and the producer. And, most importantly, all the partners involved are committed to creating a sustainable future for air travel and to fighting climate change.”
Avfuel manager of alternative fuels Keith Sawyer adds: “DFW and Neste have laid an excellent foundation for sustainability and provide a shining example of how organisations can work together to increase sustainability and promote renewability. The Avfuel team is honoured to have played a role in demonstrating that SAF is available for use now and that circular solutions are feasible through industry collaboration.”