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NBAA Launches Flight Dept Sustainability Program
April 22, 2021
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  • In honor of Earth Day, NBAA used this morning’s edition of its news hour webinar to announce the launch of its Sustainable Flight Department Accreditation Program. With an eye towards a formal rollout this fall at NBAA-BACE in Las Vegas, the program—still under development with its initial pilot test members, including Starbucks and Adobe—will serve as an industry standard for validation of sustainable flight operations.

    It will concentrate on four areas: flight, operations, ground support, and infrastructure. In support of enrolled members, NBAA will provide online educational materials and other training components. Virtual audits will document the certification eligibility, along with randomized in-person audits to further verify the adoption of sustainability culture.

    The webinar also offered some real-world sustainability perspectives from flight department members Kathy Julien (Starbucks) and Kerri Russi (Adobe), with the latter indicating that her department now considers the availability of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) at destinations when establishing flight plans.

    “We’re going to be flying these aircraft for decades to come and so SAF is our solution for today and it’s our bridge to tomorrow,” said NBAA director of technical operations Stewart D’Leon, adding that education about the drop-in nature of the fuel needs to continue. In addition, he noted that the organization has now established an environmental subcommittee as part of its maintenance committee.