Spring 2020

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| 47

Spring 2020

As this edition was readied for press, global business aviation executives met in London for the Corporate Jet Investor conference, where sustainability drove the agenda.

Meanwhile, the British Business and General Aviation Association was finalising plans for its annual conference on 5 March, with sustainability its theme.

It seems sustainability is becoming an industry watchword, not only because business aviation must become sustainable to survive, but because it is the only sensible course of action for our future.

Two of the high-profile interviewees in this Spring 2020 edition of EVA revealed that their companies were preparing major sustainability announcements; in both cases those announcements came too late in the editorial process for inclusion in the articles, so the opportunity is taken here to showcase their intentions.

On 10 February, Clay Lacy Aviation announced the engagement of World Kinect Energy Services, a subsidiary of World Fuel Services Corporation, to assist it in developing a ‘comprehensive sustainability program’ aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of Clay Lacy facilities and offering the company’s clients a simpler way to purchase carbon credits to offset their flying.

Significantly, Brian Kirkdoffer, President and CEO, Clay Lacy Aviation, said: “Reducing our carbon footprint and offering clients an easy, verifiable way to operate their planes sustainably is simply the right thing to do.”

Initial projects may include installing a solar array, eliminating single-use plastics, transitioning from diesel to electric ground equipment and upgrading to LED lighting. Looking further ahead, Clay Lacy is considering how it might provide sustainable jet fuel as supply becomes available, prepare for electric and alternative-fuel aircraft, and install additional electric vehicle charging stations. It expects its Van Nuys FBO to be among the first in the US to offer Gold Standard carbon offsets bundled with fuel purchases.

Noting Clay Lacy Aviation’s history of business aviation leadership, Paul Vian, Senior Vice President, World Kinect Energy Services, noted: “…this innovative, multi-dimensional programme may serve as a viable model for other business aviation companies to follow.”

More or less simultaneously, VistaJet revealed details of its sustainability programme, pledging to “… give the climate crisis the attention it deserves”. The company has already worked hard to eliminate single-use products from its cabins, while the full programme also provides the opportunity for clients to invest in certified carbon credits, reducing emissions and supporting projects in countries to which VistaJet flies.

VistaJet also asks its clients to do more than offset the emissions created by their flying, through simple changes of behaviour. Booking flights early enables optimal flight planning, reducing fuel consumption, while it also notes that accepting a road journey to a nearby airport can have a decisive effect on reducing the emissions that result from short flights – it’s a policy that last year enabled VistaJet to reduce its movements between London airports by 20%, saving many tons of CO2.

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