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ANN LIVE Coverage of AEA 2021 Is Archived at www.airborne-live.net

Wed, Oct 13, 2021

NBAA Members Pledge Net-Zero CO2 by 2050

Expands on BACCC 2009 Goals

Business aviation leaders pledged to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 after expanding and refining their earlier climate commitments amidst a busy week of sustainability announcements. The heads of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and the NBAA set a target for the industry to increase fuel efficiency by 2% per year through 2030. 

This follows up a 2009 goal set by the Business Aviation Commitment on Climate Change (BACCC) made in 2009, when the industry said it would reduce carbon emissions by 50% in 2050, increase fuel efficiency by 2% per year, and achieve carbon growth by 2020. 

“I’m incredibly proud to say that the industry is on track to meet or exceed those goals,” NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said at a media breakfast kicking off the convention. “This is a testament to the value of a unified partnership among operators, manufacturers, fuelers, service providers and many others. With our collective focus and determination, we can achieve carbon-neutrality in our lifetimes.”

Sustainability has been the buzzword to beat, in recent years, as an onslaught of Advanced Air Mobility, hybrid, battery-powered, and alternative fuels has vied for dominance in a rapidly growing market. Increasing aerodynamic optimization through use of newer, lighter composite materials, active aero surfaces, and skin coatings have begun to affect the every facet of future aircraft design language. Each year, prototypes seem to become increasingly slender, slippery, and rounded affairs. Freed from the traditional constraints of piston and turbine engines, electric propulsion systems can be distributed for peak efficiency often resulting in skinny, lightweight wings with gently flared propeller systems ensconced within. 

This year, sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) were available en mass for attendees, allowing a small measure of carbon offset for interested buyers. GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce emphasized the rapid evolution of aeronautical efficiency. “As higher blends of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) become approved for production, we will be able to further optimize fuel efficiency through technological advancements to achieve our environmental goals,” Bunce said. “Our industry also has a proven track record of capitalizing upon innovations in the air traffic control infrastructure to further reduce emissions. Additionally, dramatic improvements in avionics and data communications capabilities will increase operational contributions to reducing emissions. When merged with the exciting new designs employing electric distributed propulsion, hydrogen and SAF hybrid aircraft, we are confident innovation will keep us marching toward our net-zero goals”

FMI: www.gama.aero

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