General Questions

What is the Sustainable Flight Department Accreditation Program?

The NBAA Sustainable Flight Department Accreditation Program is designed to guide and recognize business aviation entities for their environmental sustainability efforts. While business aviation operations only contribute 0.04% of global emissions, we recognize our responsibility to commit to solving the climate crisis. The goal of this accreditation program is to further advance a sustainability culture in the business aviation community.

What are the benefits of accreditation?

For those new to exploring environmental sustainability, the Sustainable Flight Department Accreditation Program assists them on a pathway to meaningful but attainable change. For those that are already working in this space, accreditation allows your business aviation entity to publicly state those efforts and that they have been confirmed by a third party. If accredited, your business aviation entity will have the opportunity to be listed in NBAA’s directory of Sustainable Flight Department companies and market the achievement digitally.

Additionally, sustainability often leads to more efficient operations and cost savings. This topic has been found to be an important issue for staff, which leads to increased morale and can help with retention and recruitment. Similarly, upholding environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria has become important to customers and investors.

Lastly, by highlighting the work that is already being done and helping others achieve steps in sustainability, NBAA is further solidifying business aviation’s crucial role in moving our industry towards a more sustainable future.

What are the requirements to achieve Sustainable Flight Department Accreditation?

Participating business aviation entities may pursue accreditation in any number of the four independent accreditations within the program. This independent accreditation design allows applicants to choose the accreditations that apply to them while not penalizing them for areas in which they do not have direct control over. It also allows business aviation entities to take on the accreditation areas in the timeline that best fits their unique situation.

Program requirements include both quantitative and qualitative data, which applicants must collect and submit before the documentation submission deadline. Accreditation requirements are outlined primarily in the respective accreditation Guidance Document, and supplemented by other program resources, like the Sustainability Strategy Template and Individual Evidence Guide. All program resources are publicly available in NBAA’s Learning Management System and an NBAA login is needed to access.

If a business aviation entity is lacking any data, or acquiring this data presents a significant challenge, the business aviation entity is encouraged to reach out to NBAA to discuss any alternative solutions that still allow the entity to meet accreditation requirements.

Who is eligible to receive accreditation?

For the purpose of this program, the institution applying for accreditation will be the business aviation entity. This may be an entity within an organization, or an entire organization. For example, within a parent corporation, this would specifically be the flight department. For an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or fixed base operation (FBO), this would be by individual location or base.

If you have additional questions on whether your organization is eligible, contact

Can NBAA deny our accreditation application?

NBAA may deny accreditation to an applicant for any of the following reasons:

  • The business aviation entity did not submit a completed worksheet.
  • The business aviation entity did not include all required documentation.
  • The business aviation entity did not meet the minimum criteria to achieve accreditation.
  • Upon either the virtual or in-person audit, the business aviation entity was unable to demonstrate or validate its environmental sustainability initiatives as represented in the worksheet and/or documentation.
  • The business aviation entity has misrepresented information in pursuing the accreditation.
  • The business aviation entity has been consistently unresponsive during the audit process when an interview and additional information is requested, and fails to respond to an agreed-upon deadline.

What is the appeals procedure?

Business aviation entities that are not granted accreditation or whose accreditation is revoked by NBAA may request reconsideration of the adverse decision using the following specified criteria.

  • A business aviation entity may request, in writing, reconsideration within 60 days of the decision.
  • If a written request for reconsideration is not received by NBAA within 60 days of the date of denial or revocation of accreditation, the business aviation entity will forfeit its right to appeal.
  • The written request must provide the following:
    • The name of the business aviation entity;
    • Detail the nature of the appeal and all particulars necessary for the appeal to be adjudicated;
    • Include evidence that the business aviation entity is in compliance with the minimum criteria established in the accreditation program.

The request for appeal will be reviewed by members of the NBAA Environmental Subcommittee and NBAA staff within 30 days after receiving the request, and they will determine the merit of the appeal based upon the submitted documentation. NBAA will notify business aviation entities that submit appeals within 10 days of review of the request for appeal, regardless of whether the appeal has been accepted or denied. Accepted appeals will be brought to the consideration of the Environmental Subcommittee and NBAA staff for a full review. The entity’s statement of appeal and documentation will be reviewed within 90 days of receipt by NBAA. If an in-person audit is required to validate that the business aviation entity meets the minimum criteria, any additional costs (including but not limited to fees for time and travel expenses) will be borne by the business aviation entity filing the appeal.

NBAA staff will notify the appellant of the Environmental Subcommittee’s final decision in writing within 15 business days after the final review is completed.

What kind of decisions come out of the appeals process?

NBAA may put forth the following decisions based upon evidence presented by the appellant:

  • Grant the appeal
  • Deny the appeal
  • Deny the appeal, but provide feedback so and grant the the appellant can an attempt to resubmit the worksheet and documentation proving compliance with the minimum criteria for further evaluation. The review process for resubmittal is the same as for the original appeal. All appeal decisions are final.

Can NBAA revoke a companies accreditation status?

NBAA may revoke accreditation from a business aviation entity if it has been found guilty of misrepresentation in obtaining the accreditation. However, NBAA will strive to work with business aviation entities to resolve issues via the appeals process.

Questions about Application and Payment

What does the accreditation cost?

An individual accreditation costs $3,000 and is valid for three years. This cost covers the administrative work by NBAA and others to audit documentation, which is why payment is due at the time of application. There is no additional cost for companies selected to undergo an in-person audit.

Discounted pricing is available for multiple accreditations.

Number of Accreditations Purchased Fee
1 $3,000
2 $5,700
3 $8,100
4 $10,200

Visit the NBAA store to pay the application fee and submit a short online application identifying which of the four accreditations your business aviation entity is setting out to achieve. Payment will be due at the time of application.

When is the application and payment deadline?

Applications in 2023 will be evaluated in two review cycles on the following schedule.

Cycle 1 Cycle 2
Payment Deadline June 30, 2023 Oct. 15, 2023
Documentation Deadline June 30, 2023 Oct. 15, 2023
Audits Completed Fall 2023 Dec. 31, 2023
Notification Period October 2023 January 2024

Accredited companies in the Cycle 1 review group will be recognized at the 2023 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas on Oct. 17-19, 2023.

Accredited companies in both Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 review groups will be recognized in a joint press release in early 2023.

How do I apply?

Applicants are encouraged to immediately begin gathering required data for accreditations and developing their sustainability strategy document, as it can be a time-consuming process.

Applicants can register and submit payment online, or they can let the NBAA team know they are ready to apply via

Applicants will receive access to the secure online Emissions Data Form to submit their emissions numbers and upload all supporting documentation, including their sustainability strategy document.

Review the Steps to Achieve Accreditation.

Will my business aviation entity be refunded if we do not achieve accreditation?

All accreditation payments are final. However, NBAA will strive to work with business aviation entities to resolve issues and ensure a good-faith effort toward environmental sustainability.

Questions About Supporting Documentation Submission

How do I submit emissions data and documentation?

After paying the application fee and completing the online application, applicants must provide emissions data via the online emissions data forms. To assist with the online emissions data entry process NBAA has created guidance documents that include the full list of data elements required. During the data entry process you may choose “Save and Continue Later” to create a temporary link that will save your progress.

Is there a time limit for submitting documentation on behalf of my business aviation entity?

Yes. Information on the 2023 application cycle will be released soon. Review the Steps to Achieve Accreditation.

What qualifies as acceptable supporting documentation?

In order to document the required emissions reduction, business aviation entities must complete calculations and supplement them with annual data relevant to a given accreditation. This is known as “individual evidence.”

Applicants should reference the respective Program Requirements Document to understand which data is required for a given accreditation. All accreditation guidance material is publicly available with all program resources in NBAA’s Learning Management System.

If a business aviation entity is lacking any data, or acquiring this data presents a significant challenge, the business aviation entity is encouraged to reach out to NBAA to discuss any alternative solutions that still allow the entity to meet accreditation requirements.

Who will see my business aviation entity’s documentation?

Documentation submitted for accreditation will be viewed by NBAA staff and contractors completing the business aviation entity’s audit. General business aviation entity information may be aggregated and used at a high level to develop industry statistics and information. For more information, review the NBAA Privacy Policy.

What if NBAA requires additional documentation from my business aviation entity?

NBAA will reach out to business aviation entities if additional information is needed.

Questions About the Audit Process

How are audits conducted?

All Sustainable Flight Department Accreditation applicants will undergo a multi-step desktop audit of their sustainability programs. As the accrediting body, NBAA will organize and manage the audit process.

First, NBAA staff members will conduct a high-level review of applicant documentation. This step includes verification that all required paperwork has been submitted.

Next, applicants will undergo an initial desktop audit. This will include a thorough assessment of the sustainability strategy and review of all emissions data. This step also may involve following up with the business aviation entity to verify or request additional information.

Then, a secondary review of an applicant’s documentation will take place. Auditors with environmental backgrounds will participate in this audit step to ensure accuracy and impartiality. This may also include a virtual interview with a representative of the business aviation entity.

Finally, a number of business aviation entities will be selected to undergo an in-person audit.

If my business aviation entity is chosen for an in-person audit, how will I be notified?

NBAA will reach out to the primary accreditation contact to make them aware the organization has been selected for an in-person audit and coordinate an amenable timeframe.

Questions About Reaccreditation

Why does my business aviation entity need to be reaccredited?

Program requirements are expected to change as new technologies become available. Renewals verify a business aviation entity’s ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability. Each accredited company will go through the reaccreditation process every three years.

Will I be notified that my business aviation entity’s accreditation is near expiration?

When approaching expiration, your business aviation entity will be notified by NBAA.

Have additional questions?
If you have additional questions, reach out to the NBAA Sustainability Team at