Many business aircraft operators assume becoming more sustainable means buying premium-priced sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and/or carbon offsets, but wringing more efficiencies out of operations doesn’t cost anything and can actually save money while boosting sustainability, Gulfstream director of demonstration and corporate flight operations Scott Evans told attendees yesterday at the AIN Building a Sustainable Flight Department forum in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“SAF is definitely one of the operational considerations to lower emissions, but it’s not the only one,” he said. “Operators can also fly at optimum altitudes and speeds, especially when there are no passengers on board. They can also operate at minimum weights, in part by eliminating unnecessary items on board the aircraft and curbing fuel tankering. Other measures include minimizing taxi time, reducing APU usage, and keeping the aircraft clean to lessen drag.”
Upgrading aircraft is another way to lower emissions, Evans said, noting that the Gulfstream G500 is 32 percent more efficient than previous-generation large-cabin jets.
Overall, Gulfstream views itself as the industry leader on sustainability, he said. In fact, Evans noted that Gulfstream has purchased more than 1.6 million gallons of SAF since 2016, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 3,400 tonnes for some 700 of its flight-test and demonstration flights. The company is also incorporating the latest energy-efficient standards into the new facilities it is building.