The FAA awards $100 million in grants to efforts to reduce the environmental impact of aviation.
The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday announced more than $100 million in grants under a decades-old program to help make the first such awards more environmentally sustainable and less noisy since 2015.
The grants, which are part of the Biden administration’s efforts to tackle climate change, will go to some of the world’s biggest airlines, including Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, Honeywell Aerospace and GE Aviation. The money is designated for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or noise pollution. Recipients should invest at least as much of their money as they receive from the government.
“Across the country, communities are devastated by the effects of climate change – but, if we act now, we can ensure that aviation plays a central role in the solution,” said Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement. “
The country’s biggest airlines this year promised to eliminate net carbon emissions by 2050, but it is unclear how they will achieve that goal. Electric airplanes carrying a few hundred people do not exist and may not be possible for many years or even decades. Some companies, such as Boeing, have said that sometimes replacing or supplementing oil-based jet fuel with alternatives made from waste can help reduce emissions. Airbus is working on developing a hydrogen-powered aircraft. It’s not clear how viable either approach would be.
President Biden has taken a number of actions aimed at reducing carbon emissions, including setting goals to eliminate emissions from the power sector by 2035 and having half of all new cars sold by 2030 be electric. On Thursday, his administration set a target for it. Replacing all jet fuel with sustainable alternatives by 2050.
“We enthusiastically support the vision the Biden administration has set out for our industry,” American Airlines Chief Executive Doug Parker said in a statement.
The new grants are the third round of funding under the Continuing Low Energy, Emissions and Noise Program, a public-private partnership that began in 2010. No grants were issued under former President Donald Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax.”
business and economy
The FAA has already spent $225 million on such grants, which include projects to improve engine systems, aircraft wing, flight path software and alternative jet fuels. According to the agency, the investment has helped develop technology that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, equivalent to taking about 3 million cars off the road.
GE Aviation said it and the FAA will invest $55 million over the next five years to develop engine improvements, electrification, noise reduction and explore alternative fuels. Those efforts include new engine fan designs, better heat management and new combustion that can reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides released by the company’s engines.
“It allows us to move faster,” said Arjan Hegman, general manager of advanced technologies for the company. “We only have so many people and so much budget, and any kind of partnerships and partnerships that can help us do more and bring some of these important technologies to maturity and therefore to market earlier than just It’s a wonderful opportunity.”
Mr Hegman said some of the technologies being developed now could appear in finished products by the end of the decade or soon thereafter.
Delta Air Lines and other companies’ maintenance, repair and overhaul division plan to use the grant money to develop better coatings for engine fan blades to reduce fuel use and extend the life of engines.
“Like our quest for safer skies, we need to continually look for ways to improve flight to make flying sustainable,” FAA administrator Steve Dixon, a former Delta pilot, said in a statement.
Separately, United Airlines and Honeywell on Thursday announced investments in alternative jet fuel maker Elder Fuels. United said it would buy 1.5 billion gallons of fuel.
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