EBACE2024 Newsmakers: Bizav Leaders’ Perspective on the Global Mission to Net Zero

27 May 2024

EBACE2024 Newsmakers Session

The industry’s commitment to sustainability was on display even before the official opening of the 2024 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2024), as global business aviation leaders discussed the many steps being taken around the globe to reduce emissions.

“It’s a multipronged approach,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “But a commitment to net-zero carbon emissions is reflected at all levels of our industry.”

Panelists agreed that sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), along with a book-and-claim system, is key to achieving the industry’s goals, along with continuing to make innovations in technology. Operators using book-and-claim upload traditional fossil-based fuel at a participating FBO or fuel supplier, but they receive credit for buying SAF at another airport where SAF is available.

The process creates a system that allows operators to offset their use of fossil-based fuel.

“SAF is the key tool, the key instrument to decarbonizing,” said EBAA Secretary-General Holger Krahmer, adding book-and-claim is not a “greenwashing system,” as some suggest, but rather a proper tool for making SAF available. Business aviation, he said, is a front runner in the fight for a tough, but flexible, book-and-claim system.

“We should be driven by innovation and new technologies, not restrictions,” he added.

Patrick Hansen, CEO of Luxaviation, said he is seeing a demand from customers to use SAF, but it’s not always available, especially at small hub airports. That’s why a credible book-and-claim system is vital, he added.

Aviation is a business with a lot of passion, he added, and one that takes pride in being a solution to a problem.

Kennedy Ricci, president of sustainable solutions provider 4AIR, said, “The regulatory environment we’re seeing on the SAF side and sustainability in general is unprecedented.” And while there’s an increase in where SAF is offered, it’s still not widespread.

Kurt Edwards, director general of the International Business Aviation Council, business aviation’s official representative at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), said, “There’s a lot of work going on at ICAO on the issue of aviation and sustainability,” and the organization is looking at a wide range of ways to reduce emissions.

But many don’t know what business aviation specifically is doing in this space, he said.

“The more information, the more anecdotes, the more evidence we can provide them, the better we are,” Edwards said. “It’s really important to look at it holistically,” he added. “Business aviation has to be seen as a leader in this space”