NBAA-BACE 2022: Bombardier and Signature sign SAF supply agreement


Bombardier is to fuel all the internal flights it runs when making and delivering its business jets with sustainable aviation fuel supplied by FBO chain Signature.

The multi-year agreement, which begins from January 1, 2023 will cover several thousand flights a year and remove around 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by Bombardier’s operational flights.

Operational flights include those run by Bombardier when developing and manufacturing aircraft, such as production testing and certification flights, completion stage flights, customer demonstration flights and after-service test flights.

The fuel is being purchased under Signature Renew’s Book and Claim program, which enables Bombardier to buy an amount of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) without the fuel ever actually being used in its aircraft. Instead, the SAF enters Signature’s fuel infrastructure and is used by other aircraft.

SAF is a biofuel that can be dropped-in – blended – with conventional jet fuel at a ratio of up to 50%.

Book and Claim is an accounting technique that has been successfully used in other sectors to encourage the uptake of new, more sustainable goods and services, such as renewable electricity. Crucially, the accounting system means that the buyer does not have to be geographically close to the point of supply, increasing availability and covering gaps in infrastructure.

Signature, which runs more than 200 FBOs, began supplying SAF two years ago and currently offers it at 17 locations.

The companies are not disclosing the value of the SAF purchased, but it is a multimillion-dollar agreement.

Speaking at NBAA-BACE 2022 in Orlando, Florida Jean Christophe Gallagher, executive vice president services and support and corporate strategy at Bombardier said, “We continue to lead the industry with the introduction of SAF. We are the first business aviation OEM to cover all our operational flights with SAF.”

“This is the fastest path to make a meaningful reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. More of our customers are using SAF and so must we.”

Tony Lefebvre, CEO of Signature Aviation called the deal a “significant milestone” for the introduction of SAF: “We are the largest network of private aviation terminals and it is our goal to lead the industry to net zero.

“We aim to halve our emissions company-wide by 2030 and to be zero emissions by 2050. Book and claim is helping to expand the supply of sustainable jet fuel and greater access to SAF throughout the network is a key aim.

“This agreement is an excellent example of how any fleet operator can tackle the challenges of aircraft emissions through bulk carbon reduction created within business aviation.”

SAF is seen by many in aviation as the most effective short-term way to improve the industry’s sustainability, but challenges exist around both expanding the supply chain infrastructure and production capacity.

Lefebvre said, “We continue to take on additional supply each year. We started with two million gallons and have moved that to 15 million, our hope is to have 17 million soon. But its still a small proportion – on average we upload around 350 million gallons of fuel a year. ”

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 20 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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