Memorandum submitted by the British Business
and General Aviation Association
BBGA is the British Business and General Aviation
Association Ltd. The Association is the Trade Body representing
companies operating and trading in the Business and General Aviation
industry, including manufacturers, operators, maintenance organisations,
repair and overhaul organisations, training organisations, aircraft
and helicopter sales organisations, spares stockists and other
supporting organisations including finance, insurance and publications
BBGA is active in monitoring and participating
in the development of a harmonised suite of regulations to govern
Business and General Aviation throughout Europe. Through its leading
role within European bodies such as the European Business Aircraft
Association (EBAA) and European Council of General Aviation Support
(ECOGAS), BBGA is represented on all Joint Aviation Authorities
(JAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Working Groups,
Committees and Boards relevant to Business and General Aviation.
BBGA acts as the co-ordinating office for ECOGAS.
The BBGA Strategy commits the Association to
seeking ways to minimise the impact of our industry on the environment.
With the environmental aspects of aviation often considered at
European level, BBGA general acts in accordance with EBAA on environmental
Business and General Aviation comprises all
aviation other than the military or the airlines. The vast majority
aircraft are actually General Aviation (of which Business aviation
is a key part). Yet this sector uses only about 3% of the fuel
used world-wide for aviation. At the smaller end of the sector,
the aircraft tend to use aviation versions of the internal combustion
engine (either diesel or gasoline) and typically these aircraft
fly at lower altitudes. Compared to other forms of transport using
internal combustion engines aviations emissions are almost negligible.
The aviation gasoline engines typically run on AVGAS, whereas
the diesel engines generally use JET A1 fuel, as used in jet engines.
Larger aircraft in the sector use Gas Turbine
engines, either in conventional jet form or to drive a turbo-propeller.
These aircraft are typically used in "business aviation".
BBGA members only operate aircraft for business
purposes. That may be flight training, it may be a corporate aircraft,
it may be an air taxi (where the entire aircraft has been chartered
to provide a service) or it may be aerial work (anything from
air ambulance to pipe line inspection). The economic value of
each General Aviation flight tends to be high.
The jet based aircraft in the sector tend to
be modern, with great importance placed on the efficiency of design.
In the smaller sectors of General Aviation the developments of
new engine technologies has dramatically improved efficiency.
The industry is proud of its work to reduce its environmental
footprint and to be part of a sustainable economy.
However, the nature of aviation means that at
the smaller end, the airframes tend to have a very long life.
Engine replacement is however commonplace. A problem in the engine
replacement market occurs when the regulated nature of aviation
increases the costs of new products to too high a degree. For
larger aircraft that fly longer distances, the improved efficiencies
of modern engines soon show economic as well as environmental
benefits. But small aircraft do not fly so often and this tends
to push the economic payback period for engine replacement to
Aviation is one of the few industries that could
not exist without use of oil. At present all aviation engines
in wide use require fossil fuels. The specific needs to aviation
for engines to work in extreme temperature/altitude variations
and to have excellent power to weight ratios mean that revolutionary
engine developments are likely to find ground based applications
in the first instances.
This does not mean that BBGA does not have ideas
to promote improved emissions performance by the sector.
For the smaller aircraft, it is ridiculous that
the replacement of old engines with ones burning 20-30% less fuel
is delayed by the costs of complying with aviation regulations.
One BBGA member specifically tailored their business to target
the home built aircraft market first rather than try to meet the
costs of aviation certification. BBGA's evidence to the present
enquiry by the House of Commons Transport Committee into the work
of the Civil Aviation Authority showed how regulatory costs are
rising to the detriment of industry development. Outside of arguments
of the performance of the Civil Aviation Authority, it would surely
make sense to reduce compliance costs to companies trying to bring
more environmentally friendly products to the market.
For larger aircraft, efficiency is hugely important
from an economic perspective and this means the aircraft used
are generally as efficient as technology today allows. The likelihood
that revolutionary engines will first enter service in ground
based transport means a medium term solution is required. Therefore
BBGA members believe the ideal way forward out of all the options
available would be another Jet A1, or AVGAS, but one which was
green, which would be interchangeable with the existing fuel,
and would require no changes in the Distribution system or the
aircraft or their Gas Turbines or Engines.
BBGA believes that production would be made
in the same way as existing Fossil Fuel Oil is made by nature
from Vegetable and Animal matter and heat, temperature and time.
Local collection centres would be needed to set up, to process
Biomass and Land Fill waste in a gasification process with no
emissions, and then turning the resulting Syn Gas (Hydrogen and
Carbon Monoxide) into Crude Oil by the Fischer Trope process,
this oil in turn would be processed by the existing fractional
distillation oil refineries into Jet A1, and other fuels like
Petroleum, and Diesel.
In addition to the concern regarding CO2
emissions, BBGA believes this solution offers some protection
from a future shortage of Crude Oil (the Association for the Study
of Peak Oil (ASPO) predict a shortage of Supply over Demand commencing
BBGA hopes the Committee's enquiry will highlight
the need for a full debate on the development of green fuels.
The Business and General Aviation Sector is keen to play its role
in these developments.