WASHINGTON, DC — The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Transportation, and coalition sponsors of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) in signing a resolution launching “FARM to FLY 2.0,” an initiative to further the development of bio-jet fuel for aviation in the United States.
According to GAMA officials, meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from aviation depend on a four-pillar strategy: Technology, infrastructure and operational improvements, alternative fuels, and market based measures.
Of the four pillars, alternative fuels hold the greatest promise for significant and immediate emissions reductions, GAMA officials said.
This initiative highlights the importance of the public sector’s involvement as a catalyst to help demonstrate that sustainable biofuels for aviation can be developed from a variety of feedstocks without disrupting the food supply or otherwise distorting markets. This initiative also creates synergies between USDA’s rural development programs and the general aviation industry’s close links to the thousands of communities across the U.S. that depend on general aviation for air links.
“Two drop-in bio-jet fuel production pathways exist today, and several more are in the process of being approved; what we need is development of an abundant and effective supply chain that can enable the successful commercialization of such biofuels,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “GAMA and its member companies are committed through “FARM to FLY 2.0″ to help develop strategic public-private partnerships, pilot programs and other initiatives to help aviation meet its climate change commitments.”
“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 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “USDA is pleased to partner with the FAA in our quest to develop alternatives to fossil-based fuel, which is critical to reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment.”
“Through the use of sustainable alternative jet fuels, we are showing the world that we can come together to solve our greatest environmental challenges,” said Transportation Secretary LaHood. “In his State of the Union Address, President Obama called on us to work together to reduce carbon emissions — developing these alternative jet fuels will do just that, while creating jobs and helping airlines save money on fuel.”
The new agreement follows the initial success of the 2010-2012 “Farm to Fly” initiative. The federal government and its partners hope to support the annual production of 1 billion gallons of drop in aviation biofuel by 2018, USDA officials said.