SpiceJet operates first-ever biojet fuel powered flight

The Bombardier Q400 aircraft, fuelled by a mix of 75% Aircraft Turbine Fuel (ATF) and 25% biojet fuel made of Jatropha crop, took off from Dehradun and landed at Delhi international airport. (PTI Photo)

Going green, SpiceJet on Monday operated the country's first ever biojet fuel powered flight, which has the potential of reducing carbon footprint by 15%.

The Bombardier Q400 aircraft, fuelled by a mix of 75% Aircraft Turbine Fuel (ATF) and 25% biojet fuel made of Jatropha crop, took off from Dehradun and landed at Delhi international airport.

The biojet fuel was produced by the CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), one of the constituent laboratories of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research based in Dehradun.

It has been recognised by American Standard Testing Method (ASTM) and meets the specification standards of Pratt and Whitney and Bombardier for commercial application in aircraft, the airline said.

Around 20 people, including officials from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and SpiceJet, were in the test flight, which took around 25 minutes.

At the Dehradun airport, the flight was flagged off by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. In Delhi, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan and Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha were present when the flight landed.

"SpiceJet is delighted to operate the first biojet fuel flight in India. This fuel is low cost and helps in significantly reducing carbon emissions. It has the potential to reduce our dependence on traditional aviation fuel by up to 50 % on every flight and bring down fares. India is the fastest growing aviation market in the world today and it is our responsibility to grow using clean and sustainable technologies," SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said.

According to IATA, the aviation industry contributes to 2% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the world. This is expected to rise as the aviation industry is expanding.

The industry has set ambitious targets to mitigate carbon emissions from air transport -- an average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% per year from 2009 to 2020, a cap on net aviation carbon emissions from 2020 (carbon-neutral growth) and a reduction in net aviation carbon emissions of 50% by 2050, relative to 2005 levels. IATA has also set out a target for one billion passengers to fly on aircraft using a mix of clean energy and fossil fuels by 2025.

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SpiceJet operates first-ever biojet fuel powered flight

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