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   Vol. 16 No. 69
Thursday August 31, 2017

The New Green Vikings
The New Green Vikings

Smart Marketing Alternative Facts or Faked News?
Eric The Red's Map     Erik (the Red)—a true Viking—woke up one day and found himself an outlaw from Iceland for three years due to a dispute, notwithstanding the fact that he killed a few people along the way.
      Being outlawed, Erik sailed west in year 982 to a somewhat mysterious and little-known land.
      He rounded the southern tip of this mystery island (later known as Cape Farewell, and Greenland) and sailed up its western coast.
      Erik eventually reached a part of the island that, for the most part, seemed ice-free and consequently had conditions—similar to those of Iceland—that promised growth and future prosperity.
      According to the Saga of Erik the Red, he spent his three years of exile exploring this land.

Tales Of Greenland

      When Erik returned to Iceland after his exile had expired, he is said to have brought with him stories of a “Greenland.”
      Erik deliberately gave the land the name “Greenland” as a more appealing moniker than “Iceland” in order to lure potential settlers.
      Erik reasoned, “People would be attracted to go there if it had a favorable name.” 
      Erik, as it turns out, understood that the success of any settlement in Greenland would need the support of as many people as possible.
      His salesmanship proved successful, as many people (especially Vikings) became convinced that Greenland offered a great opportunity.

Going Green Follows

      All of this said, there is no denying that the Nordic people can gaze back proudly at a long, legendary history of “going green.”
      Green technologies are in the fabric of their history and quite natural to the Nordic people.
      Thus, as the world continues to explore the development of sustainable technologies, “Green Aviation” seems like a natural thing to do. 
      Maybe, and yet here is also an excellent reputation for respecting for nature and preserving the environment.

MORE Inconvenient Truth Emerging

      As that famous Al Gore film underscored, we humans are polluting our planet and emitting too much Green House Gases (GHG) and CO2 into the atmosphere, thereby contribution to global warming. The Nordic countries have taken the issue very seriously.
      They began aggressive development of technical solutions such as Wind Mills, Geothermal systems, and much more in order to tackle the issue of reversing the global warming trend as well as reducing general pollution.

What Role For Transportation?

      The transport challenge was taken to heart as well.
      True, there are no Nordic Electric Cars (EVs)—except the Danish Ellert that appeared in 1987, and only for a couple of years—nor trains, buses or metros, but the Nordic countries did initiate converting public transportation into sustainable systems as well as moving toward EVs.

Avinor Airports

Gasless Norway Ahead
     For example, 37 percent of cars bought in Norway during the month of February 2017 were all EVs.
      No less astounding is the edict that the countdown is on—with a goal of the year 2025, Norway plans to prohibit gasoline and diesel cars from operating in the country entirely! 

SJF Airports

      As you read this, Avinor is one of the first airport companies in the Nordic countries—together with Stockholm’s Arlanda airport in Sweden—to already offer a blend-in of Sustainable Jet Fuels (SJFs) to their customers at Oslo Gardemoen Airport.

Needless To Say, Say It Anyway

      In the meantime, the EU has imposed strict limits on CO2 emissions (a 40 percent emission reduction by 2030 compared to 1990).
      Into all of this, the aviation industry has had to gear up to this challenge.
      Needless to say that the COP21 Global Agreement reached in Paris last year pushed this subject further.
      Recent mission reduction initiatives taken by ICAO, IATA, ATAG and many other institutions have also assisted in moving the global aviation industry away from fossil fuels (Jet A1 kero) and toward a gradual transition into sustainable and renewable energy by converting plant biomass, waste, and other renewable feedstocks to produce Sustainable Jet Fuels.

Greener Nordics

      So just like many other countries in the EU and around the globe, numerous green initiatives were initiated in the Nordic countries to create societies that would help reduce GHG/CO2 emissions, lower pollution, and create a cleaner as well as a healthier environment.
      Aviation in the Nordic countries needed to be part of that global movement.

Copenhagen AirportGetting On Board

      The first of a series of Green Aviation Days at Copenhagen Airport was organized in 2012. The events took place in the old, historic passenger terminal, which was built in 1939 and designed by one of our great architects, Wilhelm Lauritzen.
      Since then, numerous similar sustainable aviation events have been held in all the Nordic countries with the aim of advancing a sustainable aviation industry and making the public aware of the sustainability efforts undertaken by the aviation industry.

Children for sustainabilityStakeholders & Kid Stuff

      The different stakeholders in this category of aviation, including “future” passengers—young school kids—have attended these events.
      In 2015 we arranged with LEGO to provide 1 million Lego bricks and invited young school children from the surrounding schools to build “green airplanes and airports,” all part of a sustainable society. The children were interviewed about their Lego models and explained very well and seriously their objective to lower pollution and GHG emissions.
SJF Fuel Production

Techno SJFs

      As described in my previous article, we have several technologies available for the production of SJFs—alternative jet fuels—and many more shall be available during the coming decades.
      However, certain key criteria are vital for a sustainable aviation industry. Here is a quick summary of these key issues for the aviation industry:

  • The SJFs must meet very strict safety standards with approval of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), especially in reference to in-flight criteria, such as freezing limits, viscosity, and many other criteria specific for aviation.
  • SJFs must meet “blend-in” standards, so it can safely be mixed with traditionally fossil-based Jet A1 kerosene, as for the time being SJFs are only certified for up to a 50 percent blend-in mixture (100 percent use of SJFs shall most likely follow within the next 5 to 10 years). This is important, as it shall take the industry 10 to 15 years to convert to the full use of SJFs, mainly due to the time it will take to build up the production capacities of SJFs around the world. As aviation is a global industry, it’s important that SJFs are available—over time—at all the current 3,846+ airports that handle the major part of the global commercial aviation industry.
  • SJF must be available at competitive prices compared with fossil Jet A1 kerosene prices. Presently, SJFs are offered at prices 3 to 4 times higher than the Jet A1 prices and as such are not attractive for the future aviation industry. However, as with most other new innovations, prices are expected to come much down as new technologies become available.
  • Also vital, the SJF must provide major reduction in CO2/GHG emissions and other pollutions. Although this challenge is still in its development, it’s progressing very well. Most tests that have been undertaken with SJFs produced by various types of biomass and feedstocks from organic material as well as waste, forestry residues, wood biomass, straw, and marine feedstocks have all proven to reduce the GHG and CO2 emissions at different scales.
Fuel Flights Realtime
     Despite global society’s best hopes and dreams for a green world, only a small (albeit growing) number of daily flights in commercial aviation utilize biofuels.
      Just click this global biofuel flight map and see for yourself.
    United Airlines, SAS, KLM, Lufthansa and some others have marshaled scheduled biofueled flights, which measured against global airline operations are a modest first step in the right direction.

Certification Mandatory

      ATAG and IATA estimate that over time and with 100 percent use of SJFs, an 80 to 90 percent reduction in GHG emission will be achievable.
      However, it will be mandatory to certify the SJFs in order to qualify for a true and realistic GHG/CO2 emission reduction as the full footprint of the SJF process from field-to-airplane must be certified in order to prove the reduction.
      This process will be a major challenge (although quite feasible) as in the early stage of SJFs global introduction it will require hard work by SJF producers and the aviation stakeholders.
      What is needed immediately is close cooperation with the verification authorities or certification institutes such as RSB (RoundTable for Sustainable Biomaterials) and other similar organizations.
      But this certification is vital, as it does not make sense to go through the entire transition from fossil Jet A-1 kerosene onto SJFs if that expensive and laborious move does not solve the key issue—that of reducing GHG emissions in the aviation industry.

KLM Biofuel Aircraft

An Even Better World

      Looking ahead, we can only hope that the day will dawn wherein as a result on innovation and determination, aviation contributes to reducing—and hopefully even reversing—global warming as well as extreme weather conditions.
      It’s good to never forget that an extra benefit is the estimation that over time SJFs will be able to reduce the cost of energy for the aviation industry as well as provide a more stable and dependable supply compared to fossil kerosene, which is often subject to political conflicts and other unpredictable interferences in the supply chain.


Even More Reading

      For further details and in-depth facts on the technical aspects of SJFs and the complete information on this matter, check out the Nordic Report (Sustainable jet fuels for aviation) as well as the cooperation on SJFs in the Nordic countries through the Nordic Council and the Nordic Energy Ministers.
      In the next installment of this exclusive FlyingTypers series on sustainable aviation, FlyingTypers together with various stakeholders in the Nordic countries will cover some of the specific initiatives taken to advance SJFs in this part of the world, including the cooperation on SJFs through the Nordic Council and the Nordic Energy Ministers.
      We will also examine developments amongst facilitators, producers, airports, and airlines as well as various organizations that altogether make it possible for this region to lead the way in aviation future challenges for a sustainable environment.
      Your comments are welcome.
Robert Arendal
To read Part 1 of this series–Long Road To Tomorrow, Click here.

Robert Arendal      Air cargo pioneer, dreamer, and doer Robert Arendal has over 45 years of experience in the air cargo industry, occupying various shipping and air cargo management positions in Europe as well as the U.S. In 1970 he became part of the management team that founded Cargolux Airlines International SA, spending 29 years as Senior Vice President Sales, Marketing and Cargo Services as well as Deputy CEO.
      Mr. Arendal is a founding father and first Chairman of TIACA (The International Air Cargo Association). He is a past President and presently a member of TIACA's President Council and entered the legendary TIACA Hall of Fame in 1997.
      He is co-founder of the Cool Chain Association and has been its chairman for 10 years.
      More recently, Mr. Arendal became a founding member of the ‘Sustainable Biofuel Network,’ a group of stakeholders facilitating aviation’s transition from fossil fuels to sustainable and renewable alternative biofuels.
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