ATA Announces Formation of ‘Farm to Fly’ Sustainable Aviation Biofuels Initiative
(Air Transport Association) The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, announced the official launch of the “Farm to Fly” partnership initiative with private industry, federal agencies and academia to advance a comprehensive sustainable aviation biofuels rural development plan.
As the lead agency responsible for feedstock development, feedstock production systems, deployment of commercial facilities, best practices and technical assistance, and the co-lead for sustainability and the President’s Biofuels Interagency Working Group, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) joined with the ATA and the Boeing Company in a resolution to accelerate the availability of sustainable aviation biofuels in the United States, increase domestic energy security, establish regional supply chains and support rural development.
“The airlines have formed strong partnerships with our nation’s military to enthusiastically pursue commercially viable and sustainable alternative fuels,” said ATA President and CEO James C. May. “We applaud USDA in explicitly recognizing the aviation industry as first movers in sustainable alternative energy deployment, as well as the immense potential benefits for the rural economy.”
ATA is committed to the development and deployment of sustainable alternative fuels for use in jet aircraft. The “Farm to Fly” initiative builds on and expands the work of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), of which ATA is a co-founding and co-leading member, to hasten the availability of commercially viable, environmentally friendly alternative jet fuels.
With this announcement and resolution, USDA, ATA and Boeing will designate a “Farm to Fly” working team to promote the production of sustainable feedstocks and the development of aviation biofuels production facilities. USDA commits to work to ensure that feedstocks showing particular promise for biojet fuel are eligible for relevant USDA bioenergy and biomass programs, to the extent consistent with USDA authority. Also, USDA, ATA and Boeing will use regional opportunities and pilot programs to assess and evaluate means for meeting the mutual goals of advancing sustainable aviation biofuels and promoting U.S. rural development. The working team will issue a preliminary report on its work in first quarter 2011, with a final report expected in mid-2011. READ MORE