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Management: No SAF at the FBO? Try Book-and-Claim

Because the sustainable aviation fuel industry is so young, finding SAF to fuel your aircraft can be challenging. That’s when it may be time to use book-and-claim.

Book-and-claim programs offered by airport FBOs and fuel suppliers make it possible for operators – including those in business aviation – to purchase SAF even when it’s not physically available on-site.

Here’s how it works: Operators using book-and-claim upload traditional fossil-based fuel at a participating FBO or fuel supplier, but they’ll also receive credit for buying SAF at another airport where SAF actually is available. The process creates a system that allows operators to offset their use of fossil-based fuel.

“You can pay for the SAF that’s pumped elsewhere. Somebody else will burn it in their airplane and you’ll get the credit.”

Darryl Young AEG Fuels

“You can pay for the SAF that’s pumped elsewhere,” explains Darryl Young of AEG Fuels. “Somebody else will burn it in their airplane and you’ll get the credit. There are now probably 50 fuel providers offering some form of book-and-claim.”

The book-and-claim model is one of several ways to match supply with demand, as businesses of all sizes prioritize ways to meet their companies’ overall sustainability objectives. In fact, NBAA and business aviation leaders have pledged to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. NBAA also offers a Sustainable Flight Department Accreditation Program to further advance a sustainability culture in the business aviation community.

“Book-and-claim is a key step to providing access to SAF even when an operator can’t upload the physical fuel,” says Stewart D’Leon, NBAA’s director for environmental & technical operations.

“We currently use book-and-claim as part of our sustainability strategy,” says Laura Clifford, corporate aviation business manager and sustainability lead at Austin, TX-based Dell Technologies. “Our current vendor understands the requirements for proper documentation and that makes for a more efficient process. It is one piece of our strategy,” she says – “useful because SAF is not available to uplift where our aircraft are based.”

With all SAF, “There are specifics about the fuel that need to be properly documented to correctly calculate the carbon reduction,” Clifford adds. The book-and-claim process encompasses the necessary documentation.

Even at airports that supply SAF, book-and-claim is key. “At SFO [San Francisco International Airport], for example, you’ll be getting SAF molecules in your tanks whether you’ve specified it or not,” says Erik Dagley, a pilot who manages sustainability issues for a California-based global technology company. “The only way to get credit is to do a book-and-claim.”

The Council on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (CoSAFA), with members including NBAA and the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), are working to expand global access to SAF book-and-claim systems by supporting universally recognized procedures for SAF accounting and auditing. CoSAFA released a guidance document titled “Methodology for SAF Environmental Attribute Transactions,” which is aimed at reducing “possible risk in the purchasing process and provides the rigor needed for an operator to have confidence in their fuel purchase,” says D’Leon.

“The transition to sustainable aviation fuels will be the greatest contributor to business aviation achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Capt. Claude Hurley, IBAC’s director, environment & flight operations.

Review NBAA resources about SAF at nbaa.org/saf.

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