Troubled plane maker Boeing, which recently settled US federal fraud charges for US$2.5 billion dollars, announced it will make its commercial planes able to fly on 100 percent sustainable fuel by 2030. Boeing has previously conducted successful test flights replacing petroleum-based jet fuel with 100 percent sustainable fuels as the aviation industry has come under harsh criticism for its contributions to the global climate crisis.
Boeing cited data from the Air Transport Action Group, US Department of Energy and several other scientific studies, which showed sustainable aviation fuels reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80 percent over the fuel’s life cycle with the potential to reach 100 percent in the future. Today, sustainable aviation fuels are mixed directly with conventional jet fuel up to a 50/50 blend — the maximum allowed under current fuel specifications. In order to meet aviation’s commitment for reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2050, airplanes need the capability to fly on 100 percent sustainable aviation fuels well before 2050.
“Our industry and customers are committed to addressing climate change, and sustainable aviation fuels are the safest and most measurable solution to reduce aviation carbon emissions in the coming decades,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal. “We’re committed to working with regulators, engine companies and other key stakeholders to ensure our airplanes and eventually our industry can fly entirely on sustainable jet fuels.”
Boeing has worked with airlines, engine manufacturers and others to conduct biofuel test flights starting in 2008 and gained approval for sustainable fuels in 2011. In 2018, the Boeing ecoDemonstrator flight-test programme made the world’s first commercial airplane flight using 100 percent sustainable fuels with a 777 freighter, in collaboration with FedEx Express.