Business Aviation Leaders Band Together for Net-Zero Carbon By 2050

18 October 2021

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Business aviation leaders at the 2021 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) pledged to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 as they expanded on a set of bold climate commitments made a decade ago, marking the latest in a string of new sustainability announcements at their main event of the year. The heads of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and NBAA also said the industry would continue its goal of increasing fuel efficiency 2% per year between 2020 and 2030.

These new ambitions build on the Business Aviation Commitment on Climate Change (BACCC) made in 2009, when the industry said it would reduce carbon emissions 50% by 2050, increase fuel efficiency 2% per year from 2010 to 2020, and achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020.

GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said technology advancements would be a key component to reaching the BACCC’s milestone, pointing to lighter materials, reduction of parts through additive manufacturing, propulsion innovation, aerodynamic optimization through composites, advanced alloys, skin coatings and active winglets as just some of the many areas where further improvements will have impact.

“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.”

IBAC Director General Kurt Edwards pointed to the other main focus of the updated Business Aviation Commitment on Climate Change: increased production, availability and use of SAF, and adoption of new market-based initiatives.

“SAF and initiatives like carbon-offsets will continue to be a key piece of the puzzle in carbon-emissions reduction,” Edwards said.

The industry’s commitment to ongoing sustainability progress is on full display at NBAA-BACE. The convention’s all-new carbon-offset program will make it one of the world’s largest carbon-neutral events, and nearly 100 exhibitors signed a Green Pledge to limit their environmental footprint for the convention. SAF is available at Henderson Executive Airport and McCarran International Airport, and a book and claim” option is in place to allow inbound flights to purchase sustainable aviation fuels even if they are not supplied at their departing airport.

Industry executives will continue to discuss environmental efforts at the Business Aviation Sustainability Summit.

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