US-based 4Air, a rating system focused on comprehensive sustainability in private aviation, has partnered with the Aviation Impact Accelerator (AIA), led by the University of Cambridge, to develop interactive, evidence-based tools to engage decision makers, the aviation industry and the public about how to achieve net zero flight.
The partnership is being financed by 4Air and its Aviation Climate Fund, which uses contributions from 4Air clients based on their carbon footprint to support research and development for future aviation technologies and emission reduction solutions.
“In order to meet ambitious sustainability goals such as net aero flight, we will need future technologies that enable actual emissions reductions within the industry beyond offsets and SAF," says 4Air president Kennedy Ricci. "4Air launched the Aviation Climate Fund to achieve this by supporting research and development for future aviation emission reduction solutions. Our partnership with AIA will support bringing the leading academics and industry practitioners together to identify new paths to net zero flight.”
4Air's sustainability ratings include steps towards carbon neutrality, emissions neutrality and emissions reductions. Reductions can be achieved through operational changes, buying more modern aircraft or through SAF. In fact, 4Air recently launched an interactive SAF map for business jets. Carbon offsetting and SAF will make much-needed progress but are not by themselves enough to achieve a true zero impact.
Beyond these measures is the Aviation Climate Fund, which seeks to meet broader global sustainability goals through innovative technologies such as electric aircraft, alternative power and cleaner fuels. The fund is intended to unify aviation stakeholders to support work that goes beyond today's best practices and establishes new levels of sustainability. “Our goal is to identify the future technologies that will bring about emissions reductions in aviation and help accelerate their progress,” adds Ricci.
With the support of a small group of funders including 4Air and the Aviation Climate Fund, the AIA will advance efforts to achieve emissions reductions from the sources of power and raw materials to the production and transport of fuel and the introduction of new aircraft technologies and operations. This will provide a comprehensive picture around which to guide support for new technologies.
“Aviation is one of the most carbon-intensive forms of transportation and enabling the shift to net zero flight will require a complete technological and infrastructure shift,” says Professor Rob Miller, director of the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, which co-leads the Aviation Impact Accelerator. “We welcome 4Air's support in identifying solutions and developing ways to bring the full range of stakeholders into the debate about how best to achieve this ambitious, but absolutely critical, goal.”