Tue 8 May 2018 – A trade delegation led by the Alberta government has flown from Edmonton to San Francisco on an Air Canada Airbus A320-200 flight powered by biofuel. According to the airline, which also partnered with Edmonton International Airport on the initiative, the use of biofuel cut the flight’s carbon emissions by over 10 tonnes, representing an overall 20% reduction in net emissions. Alberta contains nearly all of Canada’s controversial oil sands and much of its conventional oil reserves but is looking to wean the province off its dependence on the fossil fuel economy and attract foreign investment. For Air Canada, the flight follows closely on another recent initiative that saw biofuel being co-mingled with Toronto-Pearson’s conventional jet fuel supply to coincide with Earth Day (see article).
“Air Canada continues to support and advocate for the development of biofuel in Canada to become commercially viable – a big step towards creating more sustainable aviation in Canada and internationally,” said Teresa Ehman, Director, Environmental Affairs at Air Canada. “This is our eighth biofuel-operated flight since 2012.”
Added Tom Ruth, CEO of Edmonton International (EIA): “This biofuel demonstration flight reflects our combined commitment to bring forward low carbon, renewable fuels into the aviation and airport sectors. Air Canada’s leadership in the renewable resource sector strongly aligns with EIA’s commitment to regional economic development and sustainability, while reducing the long-term carbon impact of airport operations.”
The airline, which launched the Edmonton-San Francisco route on May 1 with a daily non-stop flight, used a larger plane for the biofuel flight to accommodate the trade mission delegation to California that included City of Edmonton officials and local commerce.
Deron Bilous, Alberta’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade, said the mission aimed to showcase the province’s potential abroad and create new jobs and opportunities at home.
“Using biofuel is an important reminder that, by working with partners like Air Canada and EIA, Alberta will continue to be the energy and environmental leader North America needs for the 21st century.”
Continued Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson: “This commitment and use of cleaner energy shows corporate leadership which is integral to all of us working together to address climate change. I hope it encourages other companies to follow suit so we can continue to accelerate leadership on energy transition and climate change.”
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