The first two ACH130s acquired by Helsinki Citycopter have just landed in Finland for operations that combine private flights with environmental responsibility.
"We are a young company, established in 2020, and our commitment to sustainability for future generations is part of our DNA," explains CCO and co-founder Joonas Nurmi. "That's why we will start using Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel in our new ACH130s as the first helicopter company to do so in northern Europe.”
Helsinki Citycopter will start replacing fossil aviation fuel with sustainable aviation fuel at its base at Helsinki-Vantaa airport. In the first phase, the helicopter company will undertake to replace 10 per cent of its annual refuelling with an approximate mixture of 38 per cent SAF and 62 per cent fossil aviation fuel.
Every Airbus helicopter is certified to fly with up to a 50 per cent blend of SAF in the fuel, which allows operators to substantially reduce CO2 emissions while maintaining flight performance completely identical to that of traditional kerosene. While SAF is currently more expensive and harder to source than kerosene, the supply of this biofuel is expected to grow as demand increases, and with it supply chains becoming more efficient.
"Neste has been delivering Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel to Helsinki-Vantaa airport since April 2021," says head of B2B sales, marketing and services Tuomas Kulola. "Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel is produced from a mix of renewable and sustainable waste and residue raw materials, such as used cooking oil and animal fat waste."
"Our new helicopters provide a memorable travel experience for business and private customers alike. Independent of airports, helicopters also supplement blind spots in the Finnish aviation network, as flights to certain regions have been reduced and several airports have been closed down," says Captain Ari Kallinen, one of the founding members of Helsinki Citycopter. The young company's philosophy is that it can offer more sustainable flights, as its first commitment to SAF is currently the most effective way to reduce CO2 emissions in commercial aviation.
"The ACH130 is not only efficient, safe and stable, but in terms of the distance and number of passengers, it consumes less fuel than an average-sized motorboat,” adds Nurmi. “This investment is indeed in line with our sustainability strategy aimed at carbon neutrality. We are the only aviation company whose service has been granted the Sustainable Travel Finland label, and these two new helicopters aim to reduce flight emissions even further.”
The choice of the ACH130 also represents a commitment to reducing the sound level footprint and noise pollution of its flights. In fact, the ACH130 flies with a noise signature 6dB below ICAO limits, which means it is quieter than the most restrictive limits defined by the Grand Canyon National Park in the US, a recognised benchmark for eco-friendly tourism operations.