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To reach net-zero by 2050, the business aviation community needs reliable access to SAF. Avfuel recognised this early on and, in January 2021, formed a strategic partnership with Neste to transform the aviation industry to be more sustainable by accelerating the transition to renewable fuels. One year in and the two companies have supplied more than one million gallons of blended Neste MY SAF, supplying nine FBOs as well as corporate flight departments and several major OEMs. To date, they have reduced up to 3,000 tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to making 580 passenger cars zero emission for one year.
"It takes a long time for change to occur in aviation," says Avfuel manager of alternative fuels Keith Sawyer. "For instance, the 747 was first built in the late 60s and there’s still many of them flying today. Our goal is not to be the ‘747 model’ for the evolution of fuel; but rather, let’s see how much SAF we can get out there safely, efficiently and quickly. A big part of that is going to be our alignment with Neste."
The first location to receive a consistent supply through the partnership was Monterey Jet Center in California.
“We’re very pleased to be at the forefront of efforts to mitigate the environmental footprint of aviation operators around the globe,” says general manager Matthew Wright. “Our collaboration with the Monterey Regional airport, Neste and Avfuel was long in development. To do our part in leading the way for the future of aviation fuel was important to us so that we could actually make a difference for future generations, and offer flight departments and operators a real pathway for decreasing their impact on the environment.”
When establishing a new location, the two companies work closely to map out the entire supply chain to ensure all regulations for transporting and blending the fuel are met and to handle the logistics of its distribution.
"Airplanes traditionally have two engines, two pilots, a number of stewards, two oxygen systems etc, but there's only one fuel, so that fuel has to be just perfect, and we're very fortunate that everything we've done with Neste with respect to SAF has been perfect," adds Sawyer.
In February 2021, Avfuel began supplying Textron Aviation with Neste MY SAF on an ongoing basis at its Wichita, Kansas headquarters. Avfuel also began supplying SAF to Textron’s rotorcraft division, Bell Textron, in Fort Worth, Texas to incorporate the fuel into all Bell Training Academy and customer demonstration fleet aircraft. This was the first rotorcraft customer to receive SAF from Avfuel.
Furthermore, in the summer of 2021, Avfuel announced a collaboration with Embraer to supply Neste MY SAF to Florida’s Melbourne Orlando International airport, for use in ongoing operations at its executive jet headquarters.