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CAPA 16-Dec-2021 Aviation Sustainability and Environment
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CAPA 16-Dec-2021 Aviation Sustainability and Environment

Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 16-Dec-2021

This CAPA Report contains a summary of the most recent aviation sustainability/environment news. It was selected from 300+ news alerts that CAPA publishes daily. Contact us for more information.

Qantas14-Dec-2021: Plans to purchase blended sustainable aircraft fuel (SAF), starting in Jan-2022. This will help to reduce its carbon emissions by approximately 10 percent.

This is the first time that an Australian airline has purchased SAF on an ongoing basis for scheduled services. Qantas has signed an agreement with bp for 10 million litres SAF to be purchased in 2022. The option to purchase additional 10 million litres 2023 and 2024 is available to service customers from other countries. London Heathrow Airport.

This is up to 15% of Qantas annual fuel consumption out of London.

The fuel will be made with certified bio feedstock derived from used cooking oils and/or other waste products. This fuel will then be blended into regular jet fuel.

Qantas is currently in discussions to access SAF at its other overseas ports including Los Angeles. oneworldAirlines sign a MoU to utilize SAF for services starting in San Francisco in 2024.

Andrew Parker, chief sustainability officer at Qantas Group, stated that sustainable aviation fuel is key to the airline meeting its targets of net zero emissions by 2050 as well as its interim target. These will be released in QH2022. [more – original PR]


Qantas will start purchasing blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which will reduce its carbon emissions by approximately 10 percent for flights departing from London.

This is the first time that an Australian airline has purchased SAF on an ongoing basis to provide regular scheduled services.

The agreement was signed by the national carrier with strategic partner bp to buy 10 million litres SAF in 2022. There is also an option to purchase another 10 million in 2023 and 2024 to fly from Heathrow Airport. This purchase represents 15% of Qantas annual London fuel use.

The certified bio feedstock is made from used cooking oil or other waste products. This is then mixed with regular jet fuel.

Globally, SAF usage is growing, especially in Europe, the UK, and the United States. Governments and industry collaborate to decarbonise the aviation sector.

Qantas is discussing access to SAF at its other overseas ports like Los Angeles. Qantas recently signed a memorandum in understanding to use SAF on flights from San Francisco beginning in 2024. These volume agreements are critical to lowering the cost for SAF, which can often be more expensive than traditional jet-kerosene.

Andrew Parker, chief sustainability officer at Qantas Group said that sustainable aviation fuel was crucial to the airline’s achievement of its net zero emission target by 2050 and interim target. The information will be released in the first quarter of next year.

We are aware that climate change is an extremely important issue for our customers, employees, and investors. This is why the national carrier is focusing on it as we emerge from a difficult few years.

Zero emission technology such as electric aircraft and green hydrogen is still far away for aviation. It’s even further for long-haul flights like London to Australia. SAF and high quality carbon offsetsetting are essential to net zero.

The average aviation biofuels reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 80 percent when compared to the jet fuel they are replacing. This is the most significant tool airlines can use to reduce their impact on our environment.

The technology has been extensively tested and can be used in the aircraft that we currently have. This is why industry and government overseas are investing heavily in their SAF industries.

Given the importance of Australia’s aviation and the distances traveled, there is huge potential to create a local SAF sector. We have already committed $50 million to seed funding. Qantas Group would be the largest customer. However, it will take a concerted effort by government and industry to make this happen.

Martin Thomsen (SVP AirBP) stated that AirBP’s ambition is to be a leader when it comes to SAF supply. We are committed to working closely with customers to increase its usage. It is believed to be one of the most important routes to reducing carbon emissions within the aviation industry.

SAF to Qantas London Heathrow was a sign of both companies’ determination to decarbonize aviation. It also demonstrates the importance of this airport as one of the largest in the world.

Qantas and Jetstar both have flown demonstration flights using SAF, including one across the Pacific in 2018 powered with biofuel derived by mustard seeds. This is the first time an Australian airline has purchased SAF on a regular basis.

Qantas Frequent Flyer introduced a new world-first Green membership tier last month. It will reward members who make sustainable choices at home as well as when they travel.

Eurasian SAF Alliance creates a biofuel roadmap for Russia

Aeroflot, Airbus, Gazprom Neft, S7 Group, Volga-Dnepr GroupNational Research Centre Zhukovsky Institute, and the State Research Institute of Civil Aviation (13 Dec 2021) signed a declaration to establish the ‘Eurasian SAF Alliance.

The alliance will develop a roadmap to allow for the use biofuels in. RussiaIt aims to fly the first biofuel flight by 2024.

The alliance aims to improve the environmental credentials of air transport, as well as achieve gradual decarbonisation by coordinating efforts of European and Russian energy, aircraft, and airline companies, as well government bodies.

Gazprom Neft’s Saint Petersburg-based industrial innovation technology center will be used for the development of green aviation fuels and technologies for industrial production. Meanwhile, its Moscow and Omsk refineries will produce experimental batches of sustainable aviation gasoline (SAF).

Russia’s SAF production will be increased through the alliance, and the Russian market will be integrated for use by domestic and international aircraft in line with Russian and international needs.

All companies from the SAF production chains, including airlines, fuel producers, engine manufacturers, R&D centers, and aircraft and plane manufacturers, are eligible to join the alliance. [more – original PR – Aeroflot – English/Russian] [more – original PR – S7 Group – Russian] [more – original PR – Volga-Dnepr Group] [more – original PR – Gazprom Neft – Russian]

Original report – Aeroflot: Aeroflot launches SAF Alliance with industry leaders

Aeroflot and PJSC Gazprom Negt, Airbus, Volga-Dnepr Groups, Volga-Dnepr Groups, Volga-Dnepr Groups, Volga-Depr Groups, Volga-Dnepr Groups, Volga-Dnepr Groups, National Research Center Zhukovsky Institutes, Federal State Unitary Enterprise State Research Institute of Civil Aviation and S7 GroupsAF Alliance.

The Alliance’s main goal is to increase sustainable aviation fuel use in Russia. The Alliance members will work together to create a roadmap for future coordination.

The Alliance participants agreed to promote SAF use on the Russian market in accordance with local and international norms, regulations, and tech specifications including aircraft type certificates and other operation and maintenance documentation.

Alliance members set ambitious goals for Russian civil aviation to fly its first flight with SAF blend no later than 2024.

Andrey Chikhanchin (PJSC Aeroflots Deputy Chairman for Commerce and Finance) said that the environment is becoming a major topic in aviation. Aeroflot Group has made a significant contribution to environmental efficiency, as we have reduced normalized CO2 emissions by 30 percent. Aeroflot signed the declaration to establish the SAF Alliance. We have taken another step forward in demonstrating our commitment to the environment. The coordinated activities of the major industry players will enhance the industry’s environmental credentials and promote gradual reduction in carbon emissions.

Anatoly Cherner (PJSC Gazprom Nefts Deputy Chair of the Management Board) stated: Decarbonization, new international environmental norms, and innovative technological solutions are required to produce fuel with a low carbon footprint. Gazprom Neft has been actively developing its eco products for all modes. This is due to its scientific expertise, refineries development and extensive modernization. We are ready to begin new R&D for green fuel with airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and research institutes, which is a first in Russia. SAF Alliance will allow all participants in the Russian airline market to share their expertise and make the Russian SAF research and development process more efficient.  

Eurasian SAF Alliance will promote the Alliance members initiatives to introduce the principles of sustainable development and looks to contribute to enhancing  the environmental credentials of air transport and gradual decarbonization of the airline industry. All Alliance members believe that the goal can be achieved through coordinated efforts of European and Russian energy, aircraft, and airline companies as also government agencies.

Eurasian SAF Alliance is an inclusive network that welcomes all companies from the SAF production chain, including fuel producers, airlines, engine manufacturers, R&D centres, and aircraft and engine manufacturers.

Aeroflot has taken a determined action to reduce greenhouse gases. Aeroflot and Gazprom Neft signed an agreement in September to collaborate on the production and use SAF to reduce CO2 emissions from air travel.

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ZeroAvia and De Havilland Canada agree to a MoU for hydrogen-electric propulsion technology development

ZeroAviaAnd De Havilland Aircraft of Canada(14-Dec-2021), entered into an MoU for the development of a line-fit-and-refit programme for De Havilland Canada’s aircraft models. It uses hydrogen-electric propulsion to power both new and in service aircraft.

De Havilland Canada has the option of purchasing 50 ZeroAvia hydrogen-electric engine. These options will be confirmed after ZeroAvia and De Havilland Canada reach a definitive agreement.

Here are some key details:

  • Companies will work together to create a service bulletin for Dash 8-400 type certificates offering ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric engine line-fit option for new planes, and also develop an OEM-approved retrofit programme for in-service aircraft.
  • Program will focus on ZeroAvia’s ZA2000 enginetrain, which produces more than 2MW for Dash 8-40 aircraft;
  • ZeroAvia will create a flight demonstrator with De Havilland Canada’s assistance. It will use a Dash 8400 aircraft to demonstrate the engine’s operational and commercial potential. The goal is to find a suitable route using the aircraft and enter into service within five years.
  • ZeroAvia and De Havilland Canada plan to market together aircraft powered by hydrogen-electric engines to operators who need power-by-the hour support. [more – original PR]

Original report: ZeroAvia and De Havilland Canada sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to develop a Hydrogen Electric Engine Program for Dash 8-4 Aircraft

  • Canadian manufacturer signs MOU for joint line-fitting and retrofit programs with leading hydrogen-electric innovator
  • A demonstration aircraft will be jointly developed 
  • De Havilland Canada will be given options to purchase 50 ZeroAvia engines

ZeroAvia, the leading innovator in zero-emission aviation powertrains, and  De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada”) today announced that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a line-fit and retrofit program for De Havilland Canada’s aircraft models, using hydrogen-electric propulsion in both new and in-service aircraft. 

De Havilland Canada has the option of purchasing 50 ZeroAvia hydrogen-electric engine. These options will be confirmed after ZeroAvia and De Havilland Canada reach a definitive agreement.

The companies plan to work together on a service Bulletin for Dash 8-400 type certificates offering ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric engine line-fit option for new planes. They will also develop a retrofit program that is OEM-approved for in-service aircraft. This program will focus on ZeroAvia’s 2MW+ powertrain, ZA2000, for Dash 8-40 aircraft. The Dash 8-400 is a reliable turboprop aircraft, with 625 of them delivered to customers. The Dash 8400 fleet has flown more than 11 million hours and carried over 550 million passengers.

ZeroAvia will build a flight demonstration aircraft with De Havilland Canada’s assistance. This will be used to help certification and show the engine’s commercial and operational potential. The plan is to identify a suitable route that can be used with the aircraft and then aim for its entry into service within five year. ZeroAvia and De Havilland Canada plan to market together hydrogen-electric-powered aircraft to operators who are willing to pay power-by-the hour (PBH).

ZeroAvia announced in October a development partnership with Alaska Air Group, parent company of Alaska Airlines. The hydrogen-electric powertrain can fly 76-seat regional planes over 500 nautical miles. Initial deployment will be made into a full-size Dash 8-4400 aircraft.

ZeroAvia plans to fly a 19-seat aircraft with its ZA600 powertrain over the next few weeks in a hybrid configuration (one traditional engine, one hydrogen electric), before building to certification in 2024 and then flying the same aircraft with only hydrogen-electric engines. ZeroAvia plans to have full thrust ground demonstrations of the 1.8MW engine variant on its ZA2000 program by 2022. The company plans to get its ZA2000 engine certified by the FAA to support 40 to 80 seats in aircraft. This will allow for a range of over 700 nautical miles between Toronto and Atlanta by 2026. It may also be able to extend into aircraft with up to 90 seats by 2027.

Val Miftakhov is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of ZeroAvia. He stated: “De Havilland Canada made significant strides in emission reductions, and has shown a big commitment towards greener aviation. Now, we want to go to zero-emission hydrogen-electric engine technology. ZeroAvia’s partnership with De Havilland Canada places ZeroAvia on a clear path to line-fitting new aircraft and signals OEM interest in making the switch to zero-emission propulsion.

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Chief Transformation Officer Dave Riggs said that De Havilland Canada is a firm believer in hydrogen-electric technology as an option for de-carbonizing aircraft. We are thrilled to work with ZeroAvia on climate-friendly propulsion for our customers all over the world.

Airbus will pursue storage tanks for cryogenic hydrogen in composite materials

Airbus10 Dec 2021: It was stated that cryogenic liquid hydrogen storage tanks used for commercial flight are “likely to be metallic” in the near future.


Airbus’ Zero Emission Development Centres, (ZEDC), in Nantes and Bremen will be conducting research and development to this end.


Long-term, tanks made of composite materials may be lighter and cheaper to produce.


Airbus will accelerate this approach’s development at its new ZEDC. Spain, and its composite centre for research in Stade.


All ZEDCs will be operational and ready to ground test with the first functional cryogenic hydrogen tank in 2023. Flight testing will begin in 2025. [more – original PR]


Original report: How liquid hydrogen can be stored for zero-emission flight

How to store liquid hydrogen for zero-emission flights

Airbus’ goal to develop the world’s first zero-emission commercial plane by 2035 is dependent on hydrogen. This will require a new approach to fuel storage. Airbus is currently developing cutting-edge liquid hydrogen tanks that will enable a new era in sustainable aviation. 

Hydrogen is one technology that has the greatest potential to reduce aviation’s impact on the climate. Hydrogen is a renewable energy source that emits zero CO2. It emits zero CO2 and delivers three times as much energy per unit mass as conventional jet fuel. This makes it ideal for powering aircraft. 

However, there are many challenges to storing hydrogen onboard an aircraft. Although hydrogen may be more efficient than kerosene, it is less energy per unit of mass than kerosene. At normal atmospheric pressure and ambient temperatures, it would take approximately 3,000 litres to produce the same amount as one litre of Kerosene fuel.

This is obviously not feasible for aviation. Another option is to pressurize hydrogen at 700 bar, the same method used in the automotive industry. This would reduce the 3,000 litres of hydrogen to six in our case.

Although this may be a significant improvement, weight and volume are still critical to aircraft. To go further still, we can dial down the temperature  to -253C. This is when hydrogen transforms itself into a liquid and increases its energy density. To return to our example, four litres liquid hydrogen would be equivalent to one litre standard jet fuel. 

Inside Airbus’ liquid hydrogen tank


Demanding requirements for hydrogen storage tanks

To maintain such low temperatures, you need very specific storage tanks. They are currently composed of an inner and an outer tank, with a vacuum between, and a specific material such as a Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) to reduce heat transfer by radiation. 

Cryogenic liquid hydrogen storage tanks have been used in many industries, including aerospace. This gives us an insight into the challenges involved. Airbus’ involvement in Ariane helped to gain knowledge about systems installation, cryogenic testing, fuel sloshing management, and even how to build the inner tank. 

While there are some similarities between space flight, aviation has many important differences. Safety requirements are different for space launchers. Commercial aviation hydrogen storage tanks would need to withstand approximately 22,000 take-offs and landings. They would also need to keep the hydrogen liquid for a longer time.

    The new Airbus ZEDCs will host multidisciplinary engineering teams to create innovative solutions that will meet demanding aerospace requirements.

David Butters, Vehicles Systems Architect at AirbusCrucial R&D to zero-emission flight

Airbus is currently adapting and developing existing hydrogen storage technology for aviation as part its commitment to clean air. Several new European research and development facilities have recently begun work to develop liquid hydrogen storage tanks for our ZEROe aircraft. 

Liquid hydrogen tanks for commercial flight will likely be made of metallic in the near future. Zero Emission Development Centres in Bremen, France and Nantes, Germany will pursue this approach. 

Composite materials could be lighter and more cost-efficiently manufactured in the long term. Airbus will accelerate the development of this approach at its new ZEDC, Spain, and its composite research center in Stade (Germany). 

Adapting cryogenic tank technology for commercial aircraft represents  some major design and manufacturing challenges, says David Butters, Head of Engineering for LH2 Storage and Distribution at Airbus. “The new Airbus ZEDCs will be home to multidisciplinary engineering teams that will create innovative solutions to meet aerospace requirements.

All ZEDCs are expected to be fully operational and ready for ground testing with  the first fully functional cryogenic hydrogen tank during 2023, and with flight testing starting in 2025. 


Project NAPKIN consortium plans zero-emission flight operations in the UK by 2025

London Heathrow AirportAs head of a UKaviation consortium, reported (09 Dec-2021) the following interim findings of the Project NAPKIN (New Aviation Propulsion Knowledge and Innovation Network), zero carbon emission research initiative.

  • Zero carbon emission flights for short routes between UK mainland and island destinations (ZEF) are planned to begin in 2025. Britten-NormanIslander and De Havilland of Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft;
  • ZEF to be extended to other parts of the UK by 2030 ATR72-600 aircraft with a ZEF network available by 2040
  • Operation of hydrogen-fueled 19 and 48-seat aircraft on lifeline routes by 2025 and on regional routes around 2030. London City AirportAnd Dundee Airport.

GKN AerospaceMax Brown, vice-president technology, said that the results show that the way to a zero emission technological resolution is “clearly evident”.

The next phase will examine the viability and carbon footprint of 100-seat ZEF service on core UK trunk routes, such as London Heathrow AirportTo Edinburgh Airport.

The consortium will present all findings in April-2022, including analysis on small narrowbody aircraft, passenger attitudes and noise performance, as well as airline adoption.

The UK Government’s Innovate UK future flight challenge funds the project. [more – original PR]

Original report: UK Consortium Building Blueprint For UK Wide Zero Emission Aviation Network

UK Consortium Develops Blueprint for Zero Emission Aviation Network in the UK

  • Project NAPKIN (New Aviation Propulsion Knowledge and Innovation Network) expects zero carbon emission flights (ZEF) to begin in the UK in 2025 for short routes between the UK mainland and island destinations. 

  • ZEF can be scaled up to connect other regions of the UK by 2030 and the Consortium, led by Heathrow, believes a zero-carbon emission flight network is possible in the UK by 2040.  

  • Hydrogen fuelled 19 seat and 48 seat aircraft can viably operate on ‘lifeline routes such as from Highlands & Islands Airports mid-decade and on regional routes, including between London City and Dundee Airports around 2030.  

  • The next phase of the research will investigate the viability and carbon impact of 100 seat ZEF services on core UK trunk routes like Heathrow to Edinburgh and will include clean sheet future aircraft concepts  

A UK aviation consortium, which includes representatives from airports and manufacturers as well as academic institutions, today released interim findings regarding the viability of zero emission flight.  

Project NAPKIN is a UK Government Innovate UK Future Flight Challenge funded project that has evaluated every aspect of the future aviation system, including future aircraft, their performance, airport infrastructure, viable economic models and passenger attitudes.  

Three aircraft were examined as part of the project. These included a BrittenNorman Islander (9 seats), a DHC-6 Twin Otter (19 seats), and a reconfigured ATR 72 600 (48 seats). The consortium believes it is possible to retrofit all three aircraft with hydrogen, and that the aircraft’s current airfield and performance would not be affected.  

This could allow both the BrittenNorman Islander or DHC-6 to fly on lifeline routes, such as between the Scottish mainland, islands, and the mid-point in this decade.  

An ATR 72-600 equivalent is possible, which will allow for greater regional connectivity in the UK. This should be around 2030. The consortium believes that the 48-seat configuration could be used on most domestic routes. With the right infrastructure at UK airports, all three aircraft can provide jet zero services on routes currently untapped, further improving regional connectivity and supporting future business models for smaller airports.  

The consortium considers that an airport infrastructure perspective using London City’s 2019 domestic schedule to guide them, a zero-emission network can be integrated into their operations. However, appropriate storage investments must be made and sufficient supply of hydrogen must be guaranteed.  

The consortium will continue to explore the challenges, including those relating to cost, as the industry recovers from COVID-19 and achieving meaningful scaleability throughout the country. As the UK Government looks at its future Hydrogen strategy, it will need to assess how production can be scaled to meet future demand from aviation.  

The consortium is optimistic that their findings will be able to help create a comprehensive baseline, from which all future zero-emission aviation planning could be developed. The final report will include an analysis on a small narrowbody aircraft, passenger attitudes and noise performance. It will also provide insight into how the aircraft might be adopted by airlines.  

Commenting on interim report: 

Jenny Kavanagh, Chief Strategist at Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, stated: 

This interim report shows zero carbon emissions flight (ZEF), on a small scale, by the mid 2020s. It also puts this important change in context that ZEF at sub-regional levels is only the beginning. This first step will enable technology and operations to fully-fledged ZEF region flight in the next decade. 

Liam McKay was Director of Corporate Affairs for London City Airport.  

This work has shown that zero-emission flight is possible in the UK. For airports of all sizes, we need to consider how we can facilitate this change. Project NAPKIN gives us insight that we can engage with stakeholders and consider both capital expenditure and strategic planning perspectives.  

Max Brown, VP Technology, GKN Aerospace, said: 

The report’s initial findings highlight the industry’s potential in understanding and addressing key challenges to a zero-emission solution. They also highlight the importance and necessity of continued partnership and sharing beyond our traditional collaborative model. GKN Aerospace sees the path to a zero emission technological solution and is thrilled to be a part in the NAPKIN project 

Looking ahead to the final report, Matt Prescott (NAPKIN Project Leader and Head Carbon Strategy at Heathrow Airport) said: 

As Project NAPKIN develops, it becomes clearer that we are at the forefront of a revolution that will eventually affect all airports. The final phase of the work will show the pace and depth required changes in the aviation system as well as airport infrastructure to capture the UK’s climate and economic opportunity from new fuels. 

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