Boeing and Embraer deepen sustainable biofuel collaboration

Posted by Boeing on 20/01/15

Boeing and Brazilian aerospace firm Embraer announced the opening of a joint centre for sustainable biofuel research in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil. Through this centre, the companies will coordinate and jointly fund research at Brazilian universities and other institutions, with a special focus on how to develop a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil.

The collaboration will be led by Boeing Research & Technology-Brazil (BR&T-Brazil), one of Boeing’s six international advanced research centers. Boeing also has active biofuel-development projects in the United States, Middle East, Africa, Europe, East and Southeast Asia, and Australia. Globally, more than 1,600 passenger flights using sustainable aviation biofuel have been conducted since it was first approved for use in 2011.

“Boeing and Embraer, two of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, are partnering in an unprecedented way to make more progress on sustainable aviation biofuel than one company can do alone,” says Donna Hrinak, president of Boeing Brazil and Boeing Latin America.

When produced sustainably, aviation biofuels can reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 80 per cent compared to conventional jet fuel. On the EU policy side, Boeing urges the new Commission and European Parliament to focus on policy measures that can support aviation biofuels development and commercialisation.


Boeing moves forward with tests of tobacco biofuels

Posted by Boeing on 23/12/14

Boeing and its partner South African Airways recently announced that farmers in South Africa will soon make their first harvest of energy-rich tobacco plants that will be used in research and development of next-generation sustainable aviation biofuel. The nicotine-free tobacco plant’s seeds generate an oil that could be turned into bio-jet fuel as soon as 2015; future research could result in biofuel applications for the plant’s stems and leaves as well.

Sustainable aviation biofuel made from these plants can reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by up to 50 to 75 per cent, ensuring it meets the sustainability threshold set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB).The initiative continues Boeing’s efforts to support the production of sustainable aviation biofuels suited to local ecosystems around the world — working with partners in the United States, Europe, China, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Japan, South Africa, Australia, and other countries.

When produced sustainably, aviation biofuels can reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 80 per cent compared to conventional jet fuel. On the EU policy side, Boeing continues to advocate for policy measures that can support aviation biofuels development and commercialisation.

Why aviation matters

Posted by Boeing on 15/12/14

With Boeing’s support, the Euractiv Institute recently held a forum at the European Parliament on why aviation matters in order to draw the attention of EU policy-makers to aviation’s contribution to economic growth and the need for the appropriate policy framework in support of the aviation sector. The event attracted a broad range of stakeholders, including airline personnel, industry associations, aerospace manufacturers, and NGOs.

The forum was hosted by Marian-Jean Marinescu, MEP of Romania, who introduced the conversation by emphasising the contribution the aviation sector makes to job growth and economic mobility. Referring to the Single European Sky II Plus programme — which is currently in the co-decision process between the Parliament and EU member states — he expressed hope it can be completed in the next six months.

Emmanuelle Maire, the head of unit for internal aviation market and airports at the Commission’s Transport Directorate, also discussed aviation’s role in growth, which she called a catalyst for value production, generating 2.7 million direct and indirect jobs. Maire cautioned that aviation is not growing as fast in Europe as it is in other regions and called for the Commission to project an integrated vision for strong hubs, regional airports and airlines in the EU. However, Guillaume Xavier-Bender of the German Marshall Fund warned that the traditional US/EU business model for airlines, airports, and aerospace firms is under pressure from emerging models from the Persian Guld states and Southeast Asia.

Other speakers explored the technological aspects of aviation’s contribution to growth. Aviation is rapidly developing new sustainable biofuel capabilities to reduce the sector’s environmental impact. Jens Nilsson, MEP for Sweden, pointed out that political targets and R&D investment are crucial for new fuels. Boeing’s President for EU & NATO Relations, Brian Moran, discussed how research and new products such as the B787 Dreamliner are addressing challenges associated with emissions and aircraft noise.

Moran called for “smart regulations” and investments to help aviation fulfil its promise of growth. As far as policies are concerned, Hhe urged EU policymakers to continue working through ICAO to develop a global system to address aviation emissions, recognizing that no one country or region can address a worldwide challenge on its own. Moran also stressed that chemical regulations should take into account aviation’s unique ecosystem and high safety standards, that increased policy support is needed to advance aviation biofuel development and commercialisation, and that capacity constraints both on the ground and in the air need to be addressed.

EcoDemonstrator completes first green diesel flight

Posted by Boeing on 08/12/14

Boeing’s specially outfitted 787 ecoDemonstrator flight test aircraft has completed its first flight using “green diesel,” a sustainable biofuel blended 15 per cent with 85 per cent conventional petroleum.

Green diesel is made from vegetable oil, cooking oil waste and animal fat waste, which eliminate indirect land-use consequences associated with biofuels made from feedstocks. The fuel was found to be similar to the HEFA (hydro-processed esters and fatty acids) aviation biofuel approved for use in 2011. The United States, Europe and Asia together have capacity to produce 3 billion litres of green diesel, with the potential to supply up to 1 per cent of global fuel demand near price parity for conventional fuel.

“Green diesel offers a tremendous opportunity to make sustainable aviation biofuel more available and more affordable for our customers,” says Boeing  managing director of environmental strategy and integration Julie Felgar. “We will provide data from several ecoDemonstrator flights to support efforts to approve this fuel for commercial aviation and help meet our industry’s environmental goals.”

Sustainably produced green diesel reduces carbon emissions by 50 to 90 percent compared to fossil fuel, according to Finland-based Neste Oil, which supplied green diesel for the ecoDemonstrator 787. On the EU policy side, Boeing continues to advocate for policy measures that can support aviation biofuels development and commercialisation.

Boeing 787 ecoDemonstrator begins new round of sustainability tests

Posted by Boeing on 24/11/14

Boeing has launched a new round of tests with its specially outfitted B-787 ecoDemonstrator, employing it to test more than two dozen technologies to improve the aircraft’s environmental performance. The tests will evaluate software to improve the plane’s operational efficiencies, remote sensors that cut down on wiring, improvements in flight controls and special anti-icing wing coatings.

Other tests include automated, satellite-based continuous-descent spacing to make landings more efficient, new greenhouse gas sensors, real-time turbulence reports, cutting edge instrument landing systems and wing access doors made from recycled carbon fiber.

“The ecoDemonstrator is focused on technologies that can improve airlines’ gate-to-gate efficiency and reduce fuel consumption, emissions and noise,” says Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner. “Through the ecoDemonstrator Program, Boeing continues to invest in innovation that benefits the environment and our customers.” The 787 joins a B-737 ecoDemonstrator that included wing and fan nozzle improvements.

The ecoDemonstrator program is part of Boeing’s commitment  to improving sustainability in flight and its goals are aligned with the EU focus on sustainable transport. The 787 Dreamliner itself represents a 20 percent improvement in efficiency compared with similarly sized aircraft.

A preview of the Juncker Commission on aviation

Posted by Boeing on 03/11/14

The new European Commission, led by President Jean-Claude Juncker, took office on 1 November. Juncker has reorganized the Commission for more cross-functional work, with — in addition to the commissioners — sevenVice-Presidents with broader portfolios such as energy or jobs and growth, including the first Vice-President and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Juncker has charged Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc of Slovenia with working under the Vice-President for energy union to achieve the EU’s goals of greenhouse gas reductions in the transport sector, in which the worldwide aviation sector will play a significant role. Bulc is also called on to deliver the EU’s goals for SESAR, the technical implementation institution behind the Single European Sky initiative.

Bulc has noted the role of sustainable biofuels in achieving Juncker’s emissions reductions goal. “Alternative fuels are now firmly at the heart of EU transport policy,” she told the Parliament during her introductory hearing in October. “The challenge now is to get things up and running on the ground. That means making sure enough appropriate infrastructure gets built so that we create the conditions for these fuels to power transport into the future.”

Bulc said she hopes for transport to achieve the recognition it deserves as an important part of Europe’s economy. Transport “tends to be seen as a problem, rather than a solution and as a creator for growth,” Bulc said. “I will do my best to change that kind of attitude, by working with you, the European Parliament, to give transport the importance that it deserves.”

Boeing congratulates Commissioner Bulc on her appointment and welcomes her support for our sector in general, and alternative fuels in particular. As for aviation, when produced sustainably, aviation biofuels can reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 80 per cent compared to conventional jet fuel. EU policy measures remain key to advance aviation biofuels development and commercialisation.

Boeing partners with Chinese firm on sustainable biofuel from waste cooking oil

Posted by Boeing on 23/10/14

Boeing recently announced a partnership with Chinese aerospace company COMAC to test turning waste cooking oil — also known as “gutter oil” in China — into sustainable aviation biofuel. Boeing and COMAC estimate that used cooking oil in China can result in 1.8 billion litres of biofuel, none of which comes from feedstocks and cropland that competes with food production. The joint facility in Hangzhou will produce 650 litres of biofuel daily with a goal of assessing the feasibility and cost of producing higher volumes.

The initiative continues Boeing’s efforts to support the production of sustainable aviation biofuels suited to local ecosystems around the world — working with partners in the United States, Europe, China, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Japan, South Africa, Australia, and other countries. When produced sustainably, aviation biofuels can reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 80 per cent compared to conventional jet fuel. On the EU policy side, Boeing continues to advocate for policy measures that can support aviation biofuels development and commercialization.

“Strong and continuing teamwork between Boeing and COMAC is helping our industry make progress on environmental challenges that no single company or country can solve alone,” says Boeing China president Ian Thomas. “By working together for mutual benefit, we’re finding innovative ways to support China’s aviation industry and build a sustainable future.”


ACI grows Airport Carbon Accreditation to North America

Posted by ATAG on 17/10/14

The Airports Council International-North America recently launched Airport Carbon Accreditation at North American airports, bringing the program across the Atlantic five years after it was launched in Europe. Available in the Asia-Pacific region since 2011 and Africa since 2012, Airport Carbon Accreditation has recognized 107 airports in these regions — including 86 across 24 European countries. Only in the past year, the programme yielded a net reduction of 353,842 tons of CO2 in Europe under the collective efforts of European airports. Additionally, it was selected as of the top three low carbon initiatives for Europe and was highly commended at the OECD International Transport Forum’s Transport Achievement Awards. Currently, it is nominated for the ‘Best Aviation Programme for Carbon Reduction’ Prize at this year’s World Responsible Tourism Awards.

The programme assesses and certifies airports’ plans to manage and reduce their carbon impacts. Airports are certified on four different levels of accreditation: mapping, reduction, optimisation and neutrality. The first U.S. airport to be certified was Seattle-Tacoma International in Washington state. The success of the programme reflects the fact that carbon management is high on the transport industry agenda world-wide, but also that it is recognized as a gold standard that many airports wish to attain.

Watch the video below to learn more:

Boeing forecasts air cargo rebound for Europe, world

Posted by Boeing on 10/10/14

Boeing has released its World Air Cargo Forecast showing that air cargo has rebounded in 2014 and is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 4.7 per cent over the next 20 years — more than doubling. “We see strong signs of a recovery as air freight traffic levels continue to strengthen after several years of stagnation,” says Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President for Marketing Randy Tinseth. “The air cargo market is now growing at nearly the long-term rates.”
Intra-Europe air cargo is expected to increase 2 per cent per year, while Europe-to-North America grows at 3.1 per cent. Asia represents a major growth opportunity for European air cargo, with Europe-to-East Asia forecast to expand at 5.1 per cent per year, Europe-to-South Asia forecast at 4.7 per cent, and Europe-to-Middle East at 4 percent.

Other promising growth areas for European air cargo include the Latin America-to-Europe corridors — already a fast-growing zone — with growth forecast at 4.8 per cent, as well as Europe-to-Africa, with expected growth of 4.3 per cent.

This growth in air cargo, along with projected growth in passenger travel, will require effective policy implementation of the European Union’s goals for the Single European Sky and SESAR — which will improve environmental efficiency while boosting throughput — as well as increased sustainability in fuels and technology. Boeing is strongly committed to sustainable growth of aviation through its investments in second-generation aviation biofuels and advanced aerospace technology.

Aviation industry makes commitment on climate action

Posted by ATAG on 26/09/14

In support of the United Nations Climate Summit and in keeping with its longstanding goals of sustainable growth, the aviation industry joined other business and government groups in making a commitment on climate action. The commitment is between the UN agency ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the Air Transport Action Group, which represents the aviation sector.

Through this commitment, aviation is pledging to “a pathway of sustainable growth encompassing all areas of the commercial industry and governments working in partnership.” It is building on a record of action, as an industry and with ICAO — for example, the historic agreement at the 2013 ICAO Assembly on creating a global, market-based mechanism to limit carbon emissions.

The partnership will also focus on developing sustainable aviation biofuels, deploying new and energy-efficient technology, modernising air traffic control to minimize climate impacts, developing a common carbon emissions standard for new aircraft, and building aviation sustainability capacity in ICAO member states around the world.

The commitment includes Airports Council International, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, the International Air Transport Association, the International Coordinating Council for Aerospace Industries Associations, and the International Business Aviation Council — representing all the stakeholders in the aviation industry, including airports, airlines, air traffic control, and aerospace firms.

“Today’s announcement builds on the collaborative action taking place across the commercial aviation sector. It is impressive to see all parts of the industry working with each other, and with partners in research, government and other sectors to deliver the climate actions we have committed to as an industry,” says ATAG Executive Director Michael GIll. “Aviation is a force for good in the world, supporting economies, fostering tourism and allowing global cultural exchange. We believe that we can continue to deliver these benefits to the world whilst also addressing our climate impacts.”

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