Environmentally-friendly biofuels hit both the headlines and the skies this week when a United Airlines aircraft successfully completed a commercial flight powered by biofuel.
Other leading airlines have also recently experimented with biofuels as a way of reducing emissions and combatting rising oil prices. Boeing recently announced that biofuels would make up 1% of the fuel it uses annually by 2015 and estimated that biofuels could reduce flight-related greenhouse-gas emissions globally by up to 80 percent. The air transport industry is currently responsible for 2 percent of man-made carbon dioxide emitted globally.
Despite recent testing and positive results, according to Big Think there are no concrete plans to continue these experiments due to the prohibitively expensive cost of aviation biofuels, which can reach nearly six times the cost of regular jet fuel.
Oil prices increased nearly 500% from 2003 to 2008, indicating that global petroleum production is still in high demand. The lack of viable alternatives to petroleum for aviation fuel only goes to increase the urgency of the search for alternatives.
At Cavotec, we always enjoy hearing about innovative technologies that enable airports to operate more sustainably and work more productively. We shall be following the development of this particular approach with interest.
Earlier this year, Cavotec received an important order as part of a project at London’s Heathrow Airport for ground support systems for Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Under this contract, Cavotec will deliver hatch pit systems, converter caddies, power units and cable crocodiles.
In the US in September, Cavotec completed a takeover of INET, a leader in the engineering and manufacturing of ground support equipment headquartered in Fullerton, CA. This acquisition further consolidates Cavotec’s position in North America, with nearly 200 employees and colleagues working from three manufacturing facilities and from Cavotec’s own local offices. The deal also marks a milestone in Cavotec’s presence in the U.S. market, given INET’s U.S. and international clients, which include Lockheed, Boeing, NASA, Northrop Grumman, as well as many international airports such as Miami, Bangkok, Cairo, Toronto and Vancouver.