letter to the editor

By Nancy Young | January 15, 2009
The U.S. airline industry applauds Biodiesel Magazine for the story, "Aviation Alternatives" (January 2009), which raises awareness about aviation's efforts to develop alternative jet fuels.

We view the research and development of alternative jet fuels as a top priority, critical to the long-term viability of our industry and the improvement of our strong environmental track record. Indeed, significant progress has been made, thanks in part to the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group and the various companies pointed out in the story.

Another key contributor to this progress is the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, a diverse consortium of manufacturers, airlines, airports, government agencies and universities that is dedicated to bringing commercially viable, environmentally friendly alternative jet fuels to market.

Since 2006, CAAFI has played a critical role in driving alternative jet fuel research and development, environmental assessment, certification and business integration by developing and progressing roadmaps in these four key areas. As a result, for example, the CAAFI Environmental Team recently developed an approach to methodologies for peer-reviewed life-cycle environmental analyses for alternative jet fuels, which is essential to demonstrating environmental benefits. In another example, CAAFI established a plan and time line for the certification of alternative jet fuels, with certification of a 50 percent synthetic jet fuel expected by mid-2009 and a 50 percent biofuel certification slated for 2010.

Through CAAFI, SAFUG and other important initiatives, our industry is responding to the obstacles to implementing alternative fuels on a wide scale. With jet fuel as our No. 1 cost center and given the clear environmental challenges associated with traditional fossil fuels, no other industry is more motivated to bring alternative fuels to market than aviation.

We are proud of our efforts and thank you for the recognition.

Nancy Young
Vice President of Environmental Affairs
Air Transport Association of America Inc.
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