Alternative Aviation Fuels Primer for Airports


Alternative aviation fuels represent a key area of research and development in the aviation industry, with tremendous promise to reduce both traditional air pollutants and CO2 emissions, help the industry to meet its goals of carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and contribute to fuel price stability and availability.  The benefits of biofuels to the aviation industry as a whole are clear, but the benefits to individual airports may not always be as obvious.

In order to assist airports in assessing the benefit of supporting alternative aviation fuels facilities, Rich Altman, Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) Executive Director, Emeritus has developed a white paper, “Sustainable Alternative Fuels: Why, How, When for Applications at Airports”.

A key to the development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuel projects is to identify factors such as why, how and when introducing sustainable alternative fuels can solve existing challenges faced by airports, their stakeholders and communities.   

While the challenge is significant, high value opportunities for airport economic development, environmental, and social gains (including job growth and security of supply) can benefit the airport, stakeholders and the region which it serves in new and unique ways.   The structured consideration of the introduction of sustainable aviation fuels proposed in this document allows airport staff to evaluate opportunities for growth, and potential creative solutions to adapting to an uncertain future.   

The thought process on "Why, How and When" to evaluate the use of alternative fuels does not flow from any one particular airport business discipline, function or regulatory constraint.   Expanding examples of possible rationales (the why), means of assembling resources and ownership of a possible project across the supply chain (the how), and the best timing and circumstance to execute elements of the evaluation leading to product adoption (the when) are extremely helpful for airports.  The application of these criteria and approaches will be different for every airport.

In order to explain the decision making process for the introduction of sustainable alternative aviation fuels at airports, this primer is divided into those three basic sections, “Why”, “How” and “When”.

ACI-NA is one of the four members of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), a cooperative effort between government and industry to promote the development of commercially-available drop-in aviation biofuels.  For any questions please contact Katherine Preston at

To download the document click here:

Sustainable Alternative Fuels: Why, How, When for Applications at Airports