NBAA Joins In Launching ‘Farm to Fly’ 2.0

April 18, 2013

Washington, DC – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has joined with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to launch a new initiative aimed at furthering the development of a jet fuel that is not only a renewable resource, but is also completely free of carbon pollutants.

NBAA is one of more than 300 members of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), dedicated to demonstrating the aviation industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship in creating a carbon-neutral air fleet by the year 2020.

“Farm to Fly 2.0” builds on efforts to develop a biofuel for jets that requires no major aircraft engine modifications. The initiative, first launched in 2010, centers on business aviation and is part of a broader effort to raise production of so-called “drop-in” biofuels to one billion gallons a year by 2018.

“We’ve already shown that this technology is economically and environmentally sound,” said Eli Cotti, NBAA director of technical operations. “Farm to Fly 2.0 shows that business aviation is a world leader in environmental stewardship, and that NBAA Members are among the most committed organizations in the world when it comes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”

The global business aviation community is not only committed to carbon-neutral growth by 2020, Cotti said. It is also dedicated to:

  • Improving fuel efficiency by an average of 2 percent each year between now and 2020;
  • Reducing total CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2050 when compared to 2005 levels.

In 2011, a Gulfstream 450 business jet flying on a 50-50 blend of jet fuel and biofuel completed a routine transatlantic flight from Atlantic City, NJ to Paris, France, proving the viability of “drop-in” jet biofuels. The aircraft was not modified in any way, and the flight was routine in all aspects.

“We know it works,” Cotti said. “Business aviation has proved it. Now, our goal is to foster a sustainable pattern of production that turns non-edible plants into energy for powering aircraft around the world.”

Farm to Fly 2.0 was signed on April 15 by NBAA Chief Operating Officer Steve Brown and other members of CAAFI, along with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. It extends the aviation biofuels research program for another five years.

“By continuing to work together to produce American made ‘drop-in’ aviation fuels from renewable feedstocks, we will create jobs and economic opportunity in rural America, lessen America’s reliance on foreign oil, and develop a thriving biofuels industry that will benefit commercial and military enterprises,” said Vilsack.

“In his State of the Union Address, President Obama called on us to work together to reduce carbon emissions,” said LaHood. “Developing these alternative jet fuels will do just that.”