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Virgin Atlantic has received authorization to conduct the initial transatlantic flight fueled entirely by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The CEO of the airline has described this as a “significant” flight that has been in the works for over a year.
The flight from London Heathrow to New York’s JFK Airport on 28 November has been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.
SAF is created using renewable materials like excess crops and previously used cooking oil.
It cuts carbon emissions by up to 70 per cent compared with traditional jet fuel, but it is currently several times more expensive to produce. SAF can currently be used in jet engines to a maximum blend of 50% with kerosene without the need for any modifications.
The Civil Aviation Authority carefully examined different components of Virgin Atlantic’s proposed flight before approving the operating permit. This included conducting ground tests with an engine using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
The CEO of the Civil Aviation Authority, Rob Bishton, stated that it is crucial for us, as the UK’s aviation governing body, to ensure the safe implementation of sustainable measures in the industry. We must also strive to push the limits of what can be achieved in order to promote a more environmentally friendly aviation sector.
This permit enables Virgin Atlantic and other companies to demonstrate their dedication to sustainability, while also showcasing the industry’s constant pursuit of new technologies. While innovation and sustainability are crucial focuses, they must always prioritize safety.
“Let us remember that by working together, we have the power to create change, decrease emissions, and improve the environment for future generations.”
The UK’s Transport Secretary Mark Harper stated that the process of reducing carbon emissions from flights begins in the UK. He also mentioned that government funding will assist in this effort, allowing people to travel in a manner that is sustainable for the future.
“Through the conversion of waste materials into a sustainable fuel source for our aviation industry, UK innovation is setting the standard with the world’s inaugural transatlantic flight powered entirely by SAF.”
The recent approval from the Civil Aviation Authority to operate Flight100 is a significant accomplishment for all those involved in making this flight a reality, according to Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss.
“We have reached this milestone after more than a year of hard work and strong collaboration with our consortium partners and the government. Our goal is to use 10 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030, but we cannot achieve this without the government’s support in developing a UK SAF industry. We are confident that once we can produce it, we can use it for flying.”