Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Pratt & Whitney enters industry endorsement of the Sustainable Skies Act

by Staff Correspondent

Continuing the mission towards sustainable aviation, Pratt & Whitney and various other industry groups have signed a letter of endorsement for a newly introduced bill that would establish a blender’s tax credit for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

The Sustainable Skies Act, introduced by Reps. Brad Schneider (D-Illinois), Dan Kildee (D-Michigan) and Julia Brownley (D-California), would create a $1.50-$2.00/gal. blender’s tax credit for SAFs that achieve a 50% or greater reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional petroleum-based jet fuels.

As a “drop-in” solution fully compatible with existing aircraft and fueling infrastructure, SAFs have a critical role in meeting our industry’s emissions reduction goals. By deriving from sustainable feedstocks such as used cooking oil or municipal waste, SAFs avoid the carbon emissions associated with burning fossil fuels.

The tax credit would help boost demand for SAFs and stimulate necessary investments in production infrastructure, which today provides for less than 1% of aviation’s global fuel need.

Already a growing number of general and commercial aviation operators are committing to use SAFs at a greater scale, while the European Union is expected to launch its own policy initiative aimed at mandating a minimum level of usage.

Through our participation in organizations like Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) and ASTM International, Pratt & Whitney has played an active role in developing the technical standards for SAFs, as well as advocating for their wider usage across the aviation industry. We stand ready to continue working with regulatory bodies to develop the standards that will allow SAFs to be used beyond the current 50% maximum blend level permitted by today’s regulations. 

In a recent op-ed for Flight Global, Geoff Hunt, Pratt & Whitney’s senior vice president, engineering & technology, set out the importance of SAFs and how measures like the blender’s tax can help the industry to reach 100% adoption.

He said, “The answer to more sustainable aviation is not asking people to travel less. The answer is in employing smarter, more environmentally friendly technologies to help people and cargo take flight”

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