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First sustainable flight departments are accredited by the NBAA
The accreditation programme encourages participating organisations to think and act critically, implementing as many sustainability strategies as possible while recognising the diversity of business aviation operations.

The first batch of business aviation entities have achieved the NBAA's newly established Sustainable Flight Department Accreditation.

The programme, launched earlier this year, includes four independent accreditations: flight, ground support, operations and infrastructure. The categories are aimed at recognising the diversity of business aviation entities and different emissions scopes.

NBAA's accreditation programme, which is not limited to flight departments, provides an industry standard for validating leadership in sustainable flight operations. The goal is to promote a culture of sustainability by encouraging companies to think and act critically, and to implement as many sustainability strategies as possible.

The initial awardees include:

- Mente (flight)

- Monarch Air Group, dba Mercury Jets (operations)

- Netflix (flight, operations, ground support and infrastructure)

- Steelcase (flight)

- Textron Aviation, Wichita service centre (ground support)

NBAA also accredited several other entities that wish to remain anonymous. The initial recipients are the first batch of 2022 awardees, and audits will continue to be completed throughout the year. All of this year's awardees will be considered inaugural recipients, and NBAA will continue to recognise companies as they achieve this accreditation.

“This is a pivotal moment for our industry's commitment to sustainability. We are taking bold strides to drastically reduce our impact on the climate and meet our goal of net-zero flight by 2050,” says NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “We know the way forward, we have a strong vision, a deep commitment and the ingenuity to make this a reality.”

The programme is being supported by the organisation’s environmental subcommittee, which offers real-life operational input from its members while as serving as a sounding board for future development of the accreditation goals.

Accreditation will last for an initial three years before renewal and involves four areas of action: flight, which deals with the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and aircraft efficiencies; operations, focusing on recycling and minimising the use of resources; ground support, including the use of sustainable strategies and vendors who employ such strategies; and infrastructure, including the application of sustainable practices in hangars and other facilities.

In support of enrolled members, NBAA will provide online educational materials and other training components. Virtual audits will document the certification eligibility, along with randomised in-person audits to further verify the adoption of sustainability culture.

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