Supporting the burgeoning development of wind farms is the next big growth opportunity in the offshore helicopter transportation market, according to Eurocopter UK managing director Markus Steinke. He estimates that by 2020 there will be demand for at least 20 helicopters to be flying to and from offshore wind turbines in the UK sector of the North Sea alone.
Airbus, Brazilian carrier TAM Linhas Aéreas and others interested in the feasibility of biofuels for aviation use are working to establish a “bio-kerosene jet-fuel” processing plant in Brazil, aiming to “gradually substitute fossil fuel with biofuel.” Other companies participating include Brazilian renewable energy Curcas and biofuel producer Brasil Ecodiesel, along with AirBP.
Colt International is now offering a “turnkey solution” for flight departments that must comply with the European Union emissions trading scheme (EU-ETS). The aviation fuel, flight support and insurance provider said its new Emission Reporting Program will ensure that operators comply with the March 31 deadline to submit verified 2010 emissions data.
Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation officers and board members launched the Aviation Green Alliance, a new environmental initiative aimed at the general/business aviation industry, last Thursday at a Wichita Aero Club luncheon. “The flying community has become a target in the debate over emissions, noise, efficiency and other environmental concerns.
Perrone Aerospace (Booth No. 4468) has launched its “Lifecycle Sustainability” initiative, a program that encompasses green practices throughout the leather and textiles provider’s manufacturing and refurbishing processes. Also part of the effort is “a commitment to producing leathers and materials that are environmentally and human-health-friendly.”
During the past few years, FBOs and airports with international arrivals have been developing processes to handle what’s known as “regulated garbage.” U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Regulation 7 CFR 330.400 requires owners and operators of aircraft flying into the U.S. from other countries (except Canada) to dispose of regulated garbage in a way that protects against the introduction of foreign bacteria to the U.S.
Eurocopter and parent company EADS have teamed with Argentina-based BioCombustibles del Chubut (BC) to study the feasibility of building an aviation biofuel factory in Brazil. The three companies signed an agreement in June. The biofuel, made from algae, could be used in Eurocopter’s diesel engines for light helicopters, which are now in the research stage (see AIN, February, page 44).
The alternative aviation fuel industry continues to conduct flight tests to validate the use of new jet-fuel blends. At the end of April, United Airlines became the first U.S. commercial carrier to fly using a certified synthetic-fuel blend that received ASTM approval last year.
Major airframers and component suppliers have instituted new research programs and initiatives to develop electric propulsion for light aircraft. The consensus among the participating parties is that battery and motor technology offering similar performance and endurance of small piston engines is roughly 10 years away.
As the European Union emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) expands to cover aircraft flying into and out of the EU starting in 2012, airlines based all around the world stand to feel the effects. Of course, U.S. regional airlines don’t fly into Europe, and until recently few of them spent much time considering the prospect of taxes on their carbon emissions.