Wings Magazine

Midwest aviation leaders launch biofuel initiative

May 28, 2012, Chicago, Il. - United Airlines (NYSE: UAL), Boeing (NYSE: BA), Honeywell's UOP, the Chicago Department of Aviation and the Clean Energy Trust today announced the formation of the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative (MASBI), designed to advance aviation biofuel development in a 12-state region holding significant promise for biomass feedstock, technology development, job creation and sustainable commercialization. 

May 28, 2012  By Carey Fredericks

MASBI will deliver a comprehensive
evaluation of the region's biofuel potential and a plan to support
regional and national needs in a responsible manner.

MASBI's Advisory Council will include national leaders in advanced
biofuels, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of
the Navy, other Federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and
academic institutions.

"In just a few short years, aviation biofuels have developed from a
hopeful vision of the future to an exciting reality of more than 1,500
passenger flights flown with advanced biofuels," said Jimmy Samartzis,
managing director of Global Environmental Affairs and Sustainability for
United.  "Our industry is committed to advancing sustainable biofuels,
and United is proud to launch MASBI with our partners to define
appropriate solutions to make alternative fuel available at commercial
scale, unlock the Midwest's economic potential for advanced biofuels and
secure a sustainable future for aviation."

With the Midwest's strong agricultural, financial and academic
institutions, and large aviation industry presence, MASBI Steering
Committee members view the region as critical for biofuel development. 
Airlines operating in the Midwest transport more than 234 million
passengers and consume nearly three billion gallons of jet fuel


"Aviation's ability to connect the world to people, goods and
services through the heartland of the country contributes significantly
to the nation's economy and job growth," said Billy Glover, vice
president of Environment and Aviation Policy for Boeing.  "Biofuels are a
critical part of commercial aviation's long-term fuel-diversification
strategy, enabling sustainable growth and improving its overall
environmental performance."

Organization stakeholders are developing a feasibility study and an action plan to advance the biofuels industry in the Midwest.

"Initially, MASBI will evaluate Midwest feedstock options,
commercialization requirements and opportunities, logistics and
infrastructure needs, and regional policy measures," said James Rekoske,
vice president and general manager for Renewable Energy and Chemicals
at Honeywell's UOP.  "After this actionable roadmap is developed, the
goal is for MASBI participants across the biofuel value chain to execute
recommendations that will enable the development and commercialization
of aviation biofuels."

MASBI invites a diverse set of stakeholders, including airlines, fuel
producers, feedstock growers, logistics providers and investors to add
their knowledge and expertise to the effort.

"The Midwest is ready to lead the nation in developing and using
advanced aviation biofuels," said Rosemarie S. Andolino, commissioner of
Chicago Department of Aviation.  "Our region has significant feedstock
availability and viability; clean technology leaders; an active funding
community of large banks, venture capital and private equity investors;
airports that are already committed to sustainable practices and support
the greater use of biofuels in aviation; policymakers who advance
biofuels as a priority; and end-users committed to action."

MASBI Steering Committee members believe their efforts in promoting
sustainable fuel supplies ultimately will spur economic growth, create
jobs and promote energy security.

"When you consider the U.S. aviation industry uses more than 20
billion gallons of fuel each year, the environmental and economic
potential of commercializing biofuels technology becomes truly
game-changing," said Amy Francetic, executive director of Clean Energy
Trust.  "Positioning the Midwest as the global aviation biofuels leader
means long-term economic development and large-scale creation of
permanent jobs in the region."

Oliver Wyman, a global leader in management and strategy consulting, is
providing program management for MASBI.  Sustainability requirements and
evaluation will occur throughout every aspect of the initiative.


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