BY Kenneth Ehigiator
British Airways has thrown its weight behind weekend’s launch of a European Advanced Bio-fuels Flight Path by the European Commission and its partners.
According to the airline, the initiative will encourage, support and provide incenti-ves for fuel suppliers and airlines to pursue the commercial scale develop-ment of biofuel to help deliver a more sustainable future for the aviation industry.
Keith Williams, British Airways CEO, said: “Biofuels represent a great opportunity for the aviation industry to reduce its impact on climate change. This announcement will provide the incentive needed for European airlines to accelerate their plans to use biofuels to power their fleets.
“We are already embarking on plans for Europe’s first sustainable jet fuel plant and hope that initiatives such as this will encourage others to follow our lead.”
The airline said it would undertake a broad range of activities to support its mission to reduce its net carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2050, adding that the adoption of biofuels formed a significant part of its plans.
British Airways said it would, in partnership with the Solena Group, establish Europe’s first sustainable jet fuel plant and plans to use the low-carbon fuel to power part of its fleet from as early as 2015. The project is known as GreenSky.
According to BA, the new fuel will be derived from waste and manufactured in a state-of-the-art facility that can convert a variety of waste materials destined for landfill into aviation fuel.
The airline said it was also working with Rolls-Royce on a project to evaluate sustainable alternative fuels, noting that the in-depth study would seek to identify practical alternatives to the current industry-standard fuel kerosene.
The airline stated: “The results of the rigorous testing process will be shared across the industry with the ultimate aim of supporting the certification of an increasing range of sustainable fuels and ultimately reducing aviation’s impact on climate change.
British Airways continues to work with other airlines and supply chain stakeholders through the Sustainable Aviation Fuels User Group (SAFUG).
“This group brings together those interested in developing sustainable fuel supply chains, to share learning and to speed up the commercialisation of biojet fuels.
“The airline has also worked with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) which is developing global sustainability standards for all biofuels.
“With a number of other companies, we are supporting Cranfield University on a project to develop algae-based biofuels.
“In recognition of our efforts in this area, the World Biofuels Markets event held in Rotterdam in March 2011 awarded British Airways the Biofuels Adoption Award.”