• Airbus helicopters in formation. (Airbus Helicopters/Anthony Pecchi)
    Airbus helicopters in formation. (Airbus Helicopters/Anthony Pecchi)

Airbus Helicopters announced this week it is driving an initiative to encourage the aviation industry to adopt biofuels, creating a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) User Group dedicated to the rotary-wing community.

Airbus has stated that it plans to tackle the challenges biofuel usage and proactively support the industry’s carbon  reduction commitment via co-operation with partners from all aviation sectors.

“We welcome all helicopter operators, engine manufacturers, fuel system suppliers, energy companies, fuel providers, handling companies, and all other stakeholders in the industry willing to pioneer sustainable aerospace with us,” said Stefan Thomé, Executive Vice President, Engineering and Chief Technical Officer, Airbus Helicopters.

SAF is manufactured from residual and waste material such as used vegetable oils and fats, meaning the fuel has no negative impact on agricultural food production and carbon emissions are much lower than fossil fuels such as jet fuel and avgas.

The SAF User Group has been set up to collectively work on ways to accelerate the use of blended SAF kerosene and to pave the way toward 100% SAF flights for future fleets.

Earlier this month, a rescue Airbus H145 was fueled and flown on SAF manufactured from used cooking oil for the first time.

All Airbus-made helicopters are currently certified to run with a blend of as much as 50% SAF in the kerosine.

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