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Climate Change

Global aviation summit explores low-carbon flight

eTN Staff Writer  Mar 31, 2009

Developing a pathway towards the use of sustainable biofuels on commercial flights will be top of the agenda at the fourth Aviation and Environment Summit that begins today in Geneva, Switzerland. The global summit will also highlight the technological progress, operational innovations and policy and economic challenges that are part of the international aviation industry’s response to climate change.

Paul Steele, summit organizer and executive director of the Air Transport Action Group, said “The industry is facing probably the worst financial situation on record. Nevertheless it is impressive that nearly 400 delegates are attending this year’s summit, testament that environmental performance, along with safety, continues to be at the top of the aviation industry agenda.”

Following a series of test flights over the past year, the aviation industry is confident that sustainable biofuels can be used in passenger aircraft. “We have flight-tested these exciting new fuels, they are undergoing analysis and more testing and the industry now has to focus efforts on scaling up production and distribution so that we can get enough sustainable biofuels into the tanks of our aircraft. The summit will discuss a way forward for aviation biofuels and focus on how to ensure we are supplied from sustainable sources.”

At last year’s summit top industry leader’s signed a Declaration committing to a cross-industry approach to reducing aviation’s climate change impact. “The Declaration has catalyzed an even more coordinated approach across the aviation sector which is now showing significant results. This year’s Summit will provide a platform to demonstrate real progress on a number of exciting projects and a chance for the industry to discuss further efforts to reduce emissions.”

The summit is being attended by chief executives, presidents and directors general representing all parts of the commercial aviation industry – airports, airlines, air navigation service providers and manufacturers. It will also host environmental organizations, governments and, for the first time, sustainable biofuel suppliers to the aviation industry.

Global aviation summit explores low-carbon flight
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