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Yet another airport is advancing plans to take part in the aviation industry’s transition to sustainable fuels.
Several media reports have indicated that Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) is about to reveal the details of its intentions to produce Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on-site.In particular, Aviation Week recently reported that PIT is finalizing a request for information for SAF production that is expected to be released in July. Though an executive for the authority that overseas the airport told Aviation Week the the announcement may come well ahead of July. The same executive told Aviation Week that PIT would be focused on finding a “combination of strategies” when it comes to SAF adoption.“We have already established contracts with a couple of hydrogen production companies, leveraging our natural gas resources to facilitate hydrogen production,” Christina Cassotis, CEO of the Allegheny Airport Authority, which manages PIT, told ATW. “Our goal is to accelerate the adoption of cleaner and greener fuels and actively contribute to addressing the pressing global need within the aviation industry.”
PHOTO: Pittsburgh International Airport. (photo via Flickr/PIZW)
PIT has already taken many important strides when it comes to addressing climate change and integrating more sustainable business procedures. It was the first in the U.S. to have a self-sustaining microgrid, according to Aviation Week. It was also the first airport globally to be completely powered by natural gas and solar energy in 2021, which was part of its microgram.The power created onsite at the airport is its primary supply, used for terminals and the airfield. Some of that power comes from natural gas wells, while 9360 solar panels distributed across several acres of land also play a role in generating power for the airport.
Cassotis told Aviation Week that the airport is taking a “crawl, walk, run” approach to the production of SAF. That effort will include starting with plans to blend fuels on site. The airport also anticipates being able to ultimately export SAF fuels via the nearby Ohio River.
Environmentally-friendly travel is on the rise. (photo via pcess609/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently issued a statement calling upon
governments worldwide to create policies that foster and support increased
creation of sustainable aviation fuels.In a post on the trade organization’s LinkedIn account,
IATA said sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) go a long way toward
reducing harmful carbon emissions that trigger climate change. The
organization said the use of such fuels reduces carbon emissions by up
to 80 percent.“With 100% carbon reduction and 100% certification
on the way, the future from a technology perspective looks bright,” the
IATA post said.
Meanwhile, individual airlines are working to ramp up production of SAF. In March, JetBlue and Shell Aviation announced that they are collaborating to bring additional
SAF supplies to Los Angeles International
Airport (LAX). The new fuel is expected to be available for use on
JetBlue planes at LAX during the first half of this year.
As the adoption of SAF progresses, it's also important to remember that not all sustainable aviation fuels are created equal, say environmental advocates. In particular, the food-based biofuels that are sometimes used by
airlines could actually lead to a net increase in
greenhouse gas emissions, along with destruction of critical ecosystems , says the Environmental Defense Fund.For the latest travel news, updates and deals, subscribe to the daily TravelPulse newsletter here.
Mia Taylor is an award-winning journalist who has two decades of experience. Most recently she worked as a staff writer for...
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