Richard L. Altman - Articles and news items
Issue 2 2010 • 5 April 2010 • Richard L. Altman, Executive Director, Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI)
2009 showed the first signs of an emerging trend. Authorities certifying, airlines buying, and airports hosting new sustainable alternative fuels sources.
Until the last few years, alternatives to jet petroleum based aviation fuel for commercial aircraft were, at best, an afterthought to energy suppliers and the aviation industry. The collective wisdom of airlines, airports, aircraft manufacturers and government organisations such as the FAA in the US, had been that aviation would consume the last drop of oil used in transportation and that all other transportation modes would switch to alternatives first. They predicted that the transition would occur long after stationary energy users (utilities) switched. Even if aviation sought to pursue alternatives to Jet A or its military equivalent JP8, the market for aviation fuel (less than 10% of overall demand) was too small to influence energy suppliers and distributors. The need to pursue alternatives in aviation was not apparent.