“The momentum is building” for sustainable aviation fuel, says Keith Sawyer, alternative fuels manager at AvFuel. As if to illustrate his point, minutes after Sawyer spoke with Aviation Week, Gulfstream announced the first flight of its new flagship G800 ultra long-range jet--powered by a blend of SAF.
Sawyer noted, too, that his charge is not just to “peddle fuel,” but to help pave the way for widespread adoption of SAF as the business and broader aviation communities seek to meaningfully lower their carbon footprints.
Signature Flight Adds Vail to SAF Roster
Credit: Signature Flight Support
Fast-growing Signature Flight Support, which acquired Colorado’s Vail Valley Jet Center this past December, in March announced availability of SAF at host Eagle County Regional Airport, bringing its list of FBOs offering the clean fuel to an even dozen.
“The interest of our customers in adding SAF to their sustainability plans has been climbing, and Signature continues to make tangible moves to fulfill our commitment to lead private aviation’s advance towards an environmentally sustainable future,” said Signature Aviation CEO Tony Lefebvre.
Signature had in February announced a new permanent supply of its Signature Renew brand SAF at California’s Van Nuys Airport.
AvFuel SAF Via Del Monte Aviation Makes Nine FBOs
AvFuel is now providing SAF at Del Monte Aviation at Monterey Regional Airport in California, noting that SAF availability at the Del Monte FBO augments SAF supplied by the Monterey Jet Center FBO at the airport.
Del Monte brings AvFuel’s tally of consistent FBO supply locations to nine, primarily in California. In addition to the two Monterey FBOs, AvFuel SAF supply in California is available at Ross Aviation, serving the Palm Springs area; ACI Jet at the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Million Air Burbank, and the Truckee Tahoe Airport near Truckee, California. AvFuel also serves Telluride Regional and Aspen in Colorado.
AvFuel’s SAF is produced by Neste, the world’s largest producer to date.
AvFuel Firms Up Neste Supply For ACI Jet
AvFuel this year firmed up a steady supply of Neste SAF for ACI Jet at the John Wayne Airport in Southern California.
This new supply “supports ACI Jet’s customers who are looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions immediately and significantly,” AvFuel says.
A “demonstrative load” of SAF for ACI was sourced from Gevo last year. Neste, notes AvFuel alt fuels manager Keith Sawyer, is expanding neat SAF capacity at its refineries at Rotterdam and Singapore.
AvFuel Supplies Neste For Embraer
AvFuel teamed with Embraer in 2021 to bring Neste-produced SAF to the aircraft manufacturer at Melbourne Orlando International Airport in Melbourne, Florida.
The clean fuel was delivered to Sheltair Aviation Services at Melbourne Orlando, for storage and handling, AvFuel says. “Embraer aims to use the SAF in ongoing operations at its executive jet’s headquarters in Melbourne,” it says.
AvFuel Taps Alder For Diversified SAF Supply
Seeking to bolster the supply of SAF, AvFuel in June trumpeted a multimillion-dollar investment in Alder Fuels, a Washington, DC-based clean tech firm that “converts abundant biomass, such as regenerative grasses and forest and agricultural residues, into sustainable, low-carbon crude oil that replaces fossil crude in existing refineries producing aviation fuel.”
AvFuel says it will purchase a billion gallons of SAF over a 20-year period to supply business and commercial aviation around the world.
“AvFuel’s purchase agreement is the first ever long-term offtake from a fuel supplier, making this partnership the largest publicly-announced SAF agreement in business aviation history,” the company said.
World Energy Boosts Capacity With Air Products
Credit: World Energy
World Energy, which supplies SAF through its World Fuels division, has teamed with Air Products for a $2 billion capacity expansion at its refinery in Paramount, California.
“Getting real about net-zero aviation, is going to require the mobilization of resources unlike anything that has ever come before,” says World Energy CEO Gene Gebolys (seen here at an Earth Day 2022 event).
“We are pulling together the very best companies in the world,” he said, “with the expertise, experience, commitment, and focus on collaborating to push the frontier of what can be done to decarbonize aviation today while building a platform for what needs to be done to decarbonize flight by 2050.”
Atlantic Aviation SAF for ASE
Credit: Jordan Curet/Atlantic Aviation
Crediting Colorado’s Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, Avfuel and Neste, Atlantic Aviation took the occasion of Earth Day 2022 to begin offering SAF at its Aspen FBO.
“The regular availability of SAF at ASE represents the next step in our commitment to renewable energy and the reduction of carbon emissions by the aviation industry,” says Atlantic SVP Jay Hamby.
The integration of SAF into Atlantic’s operations at Aspen is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 800,000 lbs. annually, the company said.
World Energy Foresees 700% Capacity Increase
Credit: World Energy
Before and after: World Energy’s refinery expansion with Air Products in Paramount, California, will increase output by more than 700% to an annual production capability of 340 million gal. of renewable fuels.
World Fuels SAF For Clay Lacy Aviation
Credit: Clay Lacy Aviation
World Energy’s World Fuel division supplies SAF to Clay Lacy Aviation, which in turn fuels jets at its facilities at the Orange County/John Wayne and Van Nuys airports in California. The cost of SAF is higher than that of conventional Jet-A fuel.
“Looking back to January of this year at our [Orange County] SAF pricing, it was $1.43 more for SAF,” Scott Cutshall, senior vice president for development and sustainability says of the blend of 30% SAF and 70% Jet-A. “This week,” he says, SAF is $1.93 more.
“The closest gap over that time was early in March where the price delta was under $1.00 for a few weeks,” Cutshall says.
Clay Lacy Aviation To Bring SAF To Connecticut
Credit: Clay Lacy Aviation
Clay Lacy Aviation operates full service FBOs at the Orange County/John Wayne and Van Nuys airports in California. It has offered SAF at both since March 2021.
The company has started work on a $40 million FBO at Waterbury-Oxford Airport near Waterbury, Connecticut, where the first of three hangars is to open in the summer of 2023.
We “plan to offer SAF just like we do at our two current FBOs,” says Scott Cutshall, Clay Lacy senior vice president.
Service And Smiles
Credit: Clay Lacy Aviation
Shane Pavini, line service lead, pumps SAF at Clay Lacy Aviation’s full-service FBO at Van Nuys, California.
Jet Aviation Provides SAF At EBACE
Credit: Jet Aviation
Aircraft departing from the European Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland in May did so powered by SAF through an agreement among Jet Aviation, TotalEnergies and the Geneva Airport.
“Only by working together with our partners have we been able to bring SAF to Geneva in time for EBACE,” says Joao Martins, Jet Aviation’s vice president of FBO operations in Europe and GM Zurich.
In late 2021, Jet Aviation trumpeted an agreement with Neste for SAF at Europe’s Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Immediately prior to EBACE2022, the company disclosed a collaboration with Shell to offer SAF at Singapore’s Selator Airport business jet hub.