ICAO Conference endorses use of alternative fuels for aviation

ICAO Conference endorses use of alternative fuels for aviation

A global framework on the development and implementation of alternative fuels for aviation worldwide was adopted by a conference convened by the International Civil Aviation Organization as part of aviation´s ongoing efforts to systematically reduce the impact of aviation emissions on the environment.

The Global Framework on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (GFAAF) is a dynamic web-based document that will serve as a global platform for the sharing of information, best practices and future initiatives by ICAO Member States and the air transport industry. It will be located on the ICAO website and updated continually.

The formation of the GFAAF is part of a Declaration and related recommendations adopted by the Conference, to be brought to the climate change talks scheduled in Copenhagen next month. The Declaration will subsequently be presented to the Organization’s triennial Assembly in the fall of 2010.

The Conference welcomed initiatives underway worldwide and endorsed the use of sustainable alternative fuels for aviation, particularly the use of drop-in fuels in the short to mid-term. Drop-in fuels use existing aircraft and airport infrastructures already in place. They can be produced from a wide variety of feed stocks, enabling many regions to be candidate production locations and placing aviation in a position to be the first sector to be able to use sustainable alternative fuels globally.

One of the recommendations calls for ICAO to organize a meeting of States, financial institutions, fuel producers, feedstock producers, aircraft manufacturers, and operators to consider the critical issues of cost and financing infrastructure projects dedicated to aviation alternative fuels and incentives to overcome initial market hurdles.

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“Within 10 years, 10% of the fuel used by international aviation could come from sustainable alternative sources. This will not only substantially reduce the impact of aviation emissions on the environment but will also help address issues of economics and supply security,” said Raymond Benjamin, Secretary General of ICAO.

The Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels was hosted by Government of Brazil and held in Rio de Janeiro from 16 to 19 November.

For additional information, www.icao.int/CAAF2009/Docs.htm.