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Industry Experts Promoting Use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Industry Experts Promoting Use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel

NAFA member, Stephen Hofer, President of Aerlex Law Group, discusses the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

For owners and operators of private and corporate aircraft, the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel or “SAF” to power jet engines is becoming more accepted, although challenges still loom with regard to its adoption. However, industry experts are working to promote the product and to stamp out some of the fallacies regarding its use.

Charles Etter, a scientist with Gulfstream Aerospace, recently told NBAA that SAF has to satisfy all of the requirements imposed under ASTM D1655, the industry standard that establishes the criteria for Jet A and Jet A-1 aviation fuel, and it has to be tested both before and after it is blended with conventional fuel. “There are no negative performance impacts with SAF, no changes in maintenance or fueling practices,” Etter emphasized. “It’s not like Jet A — it is Jet A.” According to Etter, Gulfstream has been using SAF in its aircraft since 2011, bought more than 1.8 million gallons, conducted hundreds of flights, and all without a single problem.

Frank Moesta, a senior vice president with Rolls-Royce, told NBAA that Rolls engines are currently certified to run on a blend of 50% SAF and 50% kerosene and have run hundreds of thousands of operations, on the ground and in the air, without incident. Moesta said Rolls-Royce already has conducted flight tests using 100% SAF and the engines are actually more efficient and produce fewer emissions. He characterized the current 50/50 percentage limitation as an issue of availability rather than capability.

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This article was originally published by Aerlex Law Group on July 12, 2022.

 January 20, 2023