NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen has submitted a written statement to the Aviation Subcommittee of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure outlining the aggressive steps business aviation is taking to reduce the industry's carbon footprint.
In NBAA's statement for the hearing, 'Preparing for take off: examining efforts to address climate change at US airports', Bolen detailed the Business Aviation Commitment on Climate Change, where the industry has pledged to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
“This goal builds on our proven track record of leading the way on fuel-saving technologies from winglets to highly efficient engine technology and advanced avionics,” Bolen writes. “To achieve our 2050 goal, business aviation is making significant investments in zero emission electric aviation, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), optimising GPS technology to fly the most direct and efficient routes and utilising sustainable infrastructure at airports. These initiatives will lead to a sustainable future for business aviation while maintaining the critical jobs our industry provides to American workers.”
In addition, he explains how NBAA's Sustainable Flight Department Accreditation Programme, with its specific focus on infrastructure and ground support equipment, is leading the way toward more efficient and sustainable US airports.
“This comprehensive accreditation programme will stimulate, document and audit how operators are making widespread investments and progress toward a carbon-neutral future,” Bolen adds. “For airport operations, participants will work toward measurable reductions in CO2 emissions through the modernisation of hangars and other facilities, concentrating on reduced electric and water consumption.”
He also discusses how NBAA and its coalition partners in the Business Aviation Coalition for Sustainable Aviation Fuel continue to educate the airport and operator community about the benefits of SAF, which has led to broad acceptance and demand for the fuel. However, the SAF market is still in a nascent stage and requires a long term, technology and feedstock-neutral tax incentive to meet growing demand. Bolen thanks the subcommittee for its leadership in supporting HR 3440, the Sustainable Skies Act and emphasises that a blender's tax credit specifically aimed at incentivising the production of SAF is the most important action that Congress can take to support decarbonisation of the aviation sector.
He also details how electric aviation and advanced air mobility (AAM) will advance the US toward sustainable, zero emission aerospace and open new transportation opportunities to move people between and within urban, suburban and rural areas.
General aviation airports will be an essential part of electric aviation's future, and he says: “These airports will support AAM operations as they are often located closer to communities and provide the existing infrastructure that can readily support electric aviation.”
Last autumn at NBAA-BACE, the leaders of the GAMA, IBAC and NBAA agreed to continue the industry's goal of increasing aviation fuel efficiency by two per cent per year between 2020 and 2030.