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June 17, 2011

'Alternative Aviation Fuels Showcase' at Paris Air Show Hopes to Draw Potential Investors



The global investment community will have the opportunity to investigate one of the year’s most anticipated business opportunities—biofuels for commercial aviation—at the 49th International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget from June 20-26.

With its 2,110 exhibitors, 340,000 trade and general public visitors, 200 international delegations, and 3,000 journalists, the Paris Air Show remains the aviation and space industry's key event.

The Alternative Aviation Fuels (AAF) Showcase, located in Hall 3 at the show, will present an Investors Day on Wednesday, June 22—in anticipation of ASTM International’s BIO SPK fuel standard approval.

In mid-June, in Washington, D.C., Bloomberg reported that the U.S.-based technical standards group ASTM International (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials) has given preliminary approval to airlines to use a blend of traditional fuel and biofuel from inedible plants.

Final approval of the new BIO SPK fuel standard is expected no earlier than July 1. Under the standard, fuel processed from organic waste or non-food materials, such as algae or wood chips, may comprise as much as 50 percent of the total fuel burned to power passenger flights, Air Transport Association spokesman Steve Lott and a Boeing Co. official told Bloomberg (News - Alert) (News - Alert).

In addition to 15 company exhibits, the AAF Showcase will have a presentation theater, where stakeholders will conduct a series of product and capabilities presentations throughout the week. These informational sessions will be facilitated by representatives of the Air Transport Association (ATA), the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), Air France, American Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa, United Airlines, and other organizations. Topics will include:

The technical approvals that will allow a broad variety of fuels from oil seed crops to be flown commercially

Debt funding programs available in the United States, as well as plans to implement similar programs in Europe and around the globe, opening the industry to a full range of international investors.

Worldwide fuel offtake agreements between participating airlines and fuel suppliers

Implementation follow-up for President Obama's March 30, 2011 directive to support commercial aviation through the initiation of fuel production programs.

Also on display at the Air Show will be 140 aircraft, including the world’s first long-range “hybrid” solar-powered airplane – the Solar Impulse, The solar-powered plane, completed the 636 nautical-mile , 16-hour flight between Brussels and Paris on June 14., after aborting an initial attempt on June 12. The plane will be on static display every afternoon from 2.30 p.m. on, and take to the sky every morning for an eco-friendly - and nearly silent - flying display. However, as the plane is powered entirely by the sun's energy and flies at a relatively slow speed, the Solar Impulse team stresses that the displays are weather-permitting.

Other highlights include the first public flight demonstrations of the hybrid X3 helicopter Eurocopter. The X3 earns its "hybrid" moniker by combining two turbo shaft engines that power a five-blade main rotor system and two propellers installed on short-span fixed wings -- which, in layman's terms, allows it to hover like a helicopter should while reaching the kind of speeds you'd expect from a turboprop-powered aircraft.  from, a unique design which uses traditional helicopter blades and short wings with mounted propellers to give it a faster cruise speed.

Among the AAF Showcase exhibitors will be Alt Air Fuels, Amyris Biotech/Total, Axens, FGCU Innovation Hub, Gevo, Heliae, LanzaTech, Metron Aviation, Neste Oil, Sapphire Energy, SkyNRG, Solazyme, Solena Group, and UOP.

 For more information, visit the Paris Air Show website.


Cheryl Kaften is an accomplished communicator who has written for consumer and corporate audiences. She has worked extensively for MasterCard (News - Alert) Worldwide, Philip Morris USA (Altria), and KPMG, and has consulted for Estee Lauder and the Philadelphia Inquirer Newspapers. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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