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Qantas to study feasibility of Aust aviation fuel industry

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Qantas announced today that it will conduct a feasibility study into the potential for an Australian sustainable aviation fuel industry, backed by funding from the Australian Government.

The Hon Martin Ferguson MP, Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, announced the government's support for the study this morning. He was speaking ahead of Australia's first flight powered by sustainable aviation fuel, operated by Qantas from Sydney to Adelaide using a fuel type derived from recycled cooking oil.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the project would explore the conditions needed for the production of aviation biofuel from sustainable sources within Australia.

"Today is a historic occasion in Australian aviation," Mr Joyce said. "We are delighted to be operating Australia's first sustainable aviation fuel flights and to be launching a study into the feasibility of producing such fuel in this country."

"Alternatives to conventional jet fuel are vital to the aviation industry meeting ambitious targets for carbon-neutral growth and emissions reduction.

"Australia has the skills, resources and infrastructure to take a lead in this emerging sector, which the CSIRO has estimated could generate up to 12,000 jobs over the next 20 years. But there are also significant challenges - which is why we need to establish a clear plan.

"Until sustainable aviation fuel is produced commercially at a price competitive with conventional jet fuel, we will not be able to realise its true benefits. This study aims to tell us how that can be achieved in Australia."

QF1121 departs Sydney at 10:20am this morning and will arrive in Adelaide at 12:05pm. The return flight, QF1120, will depart Adelaide at 1:35pm, arriving in Sydney at 4:00pm.

On 19 April, Jetstar flights JQ705 and JQ706 from Melbourne to Hobart and back will be powered by the same fuel type used in today's Qantas flights, underlining the Qantas Group's commitment to sustainable aviation fuel.

Supplied by SkyNRG, the fuel type is a 50:50 blend of biofuel and conventional jet fuel certified for use in commercial aviation. Its 'life cycle' carbon footprint is around 60 per cent smaller than that of conventional jet fuel.

Government funding for the study will be allocated under the Emerging Renewables Program, while Shell will provide technical support. The study will commence in May.

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