NetJets’s decision to purchase up to 3m gallons of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is a “direct response to NetJets’ desire to demonstrate accountability and do its part to contribute to sustainability”, its President Patrick Gallagher, told Corporate Jet Investor.
NetJets’ SAF will be supplied by Signature Flight Support. The FBO has partnered with fuel refiner, Neste, to deliver 5m gallons to two of Signature’s airport bases – San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and London-Luton Airport (LTN). NetJets is the launch customer and will take up to 60% of this initial SAF supply. The deal agreed between Signature and Neste for the biofuel is the largest ever by an FBO.
NetJets will access the fuel from a permanent supply established by Signature at SFO, California. SAF gallons purchased via Signature SFO will take advantage of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard tax incentive programme, while at Signature’s second location, LTN, operators can reduce carbon offsetting required to meet EU regulations. (Read more about California’s SAF tax incentive below).
Prior to use, the SAF is blended with fossil jet fuel and is then verified to meet American Society for Testing and Materials jet fuel specification. In its neat form and over the lifecycle, SAF can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared with conventional jet fuel. Once blended at a 35% ratio, Signature predicts more than a 25% reduction in direct net lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft using SAF at either location.
Although NetJets has made an initial commitment to 3m gallons, Gallagher hinted to Corporate Jet Investor that there was the potential for further spending. He said: “Yes, there is potential, dependent on the supply and availability at other FBOs.”
Brad Ferrell, NetJets’ Executive Vice President, Administrative Services, added: “We are thrilled to be the first private aviation company with a commitment to purchase sustainable fuel for all NetJets flights out of San Francisco International Airport [SFO] and Columbus International Airport [CMH] . This first initiative helps to lay the groundwork for our sustainability programme which aims to solidify our unwavering commitment to excellence.”
Elsewhere, VistaJet has has signed an agreement with SAF provider, SkyNRG, that enables its air charter customers to cover their flights with the use of SAF through the use of a “book and claim” system. Part of VistaJet’s Sustainability in Aviation pledge launched this year, the programme permits VistaJet’s customers to pay for the volume of SAF consumed in their flight if they wish to do so. Allowing them to receive the environmental credits, while the actual fuel is dispensed into another aircraft where there is a supply of SAF.
California Low Carbon Fuel Standard tax incentive – at a glance
The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) is a technology neutral market tool for the Californian transportation sector to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 10% by 2020. The LCFS obligates fuel providers to lower the carbon intensity of fuels.