4/23/13—The aviation focus of the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference began on late Tuesday afternoon, with a special military and aviation biofuels panel entitled “What Military and Aviation Customers Want and How We are Going to Get There.” This panel featured the “buyers” of aviation biofuels, including Navy Deputy Assistant Secretary Tom Hicks, Airlines for America VP and CAAFI Environmental Co-Chair Nancy Young, and senior global airline leadership from United Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways, and Virgin Australia. The program continued into Wednesday for a full day dedicated to aviation biofuels, cited as the largest gathering of aviation biofuel producers, leaders, and government authorities of 2013.
Wednesday began with an opening address delivered by Dr. Lourdes Maurice, Executive Director of the Office of Environment and Energy in FAA, highlighting the importance of biofuel production in the aviation industry, aviation’s leading role in the biofuel industry, and the impact that public-private organizations such as CAAFI have on advancement.
The opening panel, “Beyond Farm to Fly,” featured representatives from five U.S. government agencies: DOE, EPA, FAA, USDA and DOD who spoke on behalf of their respective agencies’ current activities and progress regarding aviation biofuel production advancement. The panel was moderated by CAAFI Executive Director Steve Csonka. The following panel, “Aviation’s Blossoming Global Cooperative Efforts,” moderated by CAAFI Executive Director Emeritus, Richard Altman, featured international efforts from Germany, Australia, and the European Commission. Speakers describing British Airways and Solena Fuels ongoing development of alternative jet fuel production in London and a panel on “Emerging State and Regional Opportunities,” followed. The day ended with an update on progress, activities, and plans for this year from the team leads of each of the four teams of CAAFI: Certification/Qualification, Environment, R&D, and Business.
Overall, ABLC 2013 was a resounding success, and demonstrated the positive impact of collaboration and the tremendous progress since 2006; as Dr. Maurice stated, “It really is amazing."