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HAI To Promote SAF Use at Heli-Expo
February 20, 2024
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  • Helicopter Association International (HAI) will promote the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) next week during its annual Heli-Expo showcase in California. Show organizers are expecting 60 aircraft to arrive starting on February 26, including 45 that will be flown to the Anaheim Convention Center from a staging area at Fullerton Municipal Airport.

    At Fullerton, HAI will have SAF on hand for use by turbine-powered helicopters. HAI sourced the fuel from Titan Aviation Fuels with the assistance of local FBO General Aviation Co., which will be dispensing it into aircraft from all the major manufacturers, including Airbus, Bell, Leonardo, MD, and Robinson.

    SAF is produced from organic materials, such as oils, algae, fats, alcohols, sugars, and captured carbon dioxide. In its neat, unblended form, it can reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80 percent compared to traditional petroleum-based jet fuel. This is important for the aviation industry, which—according to the Environmental Protection Agency—contributes up to 12 percent of the U.S. transportation sector’s emissions.

    SAF presently makes up a minute portion of the overall fuel supply and comes at a higher cost than conventional jet fuel, two factors HAI president and CEO James Viola said need to be overcome.

    “HAI is doing what we can to bring down the cost of SAF and increase its use,” he said, adding that the organization recognizes the importance of reducing the industry’s impact on the environment. “Some aviation customers or clients will prefer using operators who utilize SAF as it upholds their corporate values or permits them to report a reduced environmental impact.”

    HAI told AIN that it would have enough SAF brought in to meet exhibiting company demand, with the organization covering the delta between the price of SAF and standard jet-A.