Sarah McCann is the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, GAMA, Director of Communications.
“The business aviation industry continues to be actively engaged in developing solutions to the environmental challenges we all face.”
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) was founded in 1970, first as a US-based organisation but it has evolved into a global association with more than 100-member companies across five continents. How it has managed to position itself as one of the most important entities in the aviation sector?
Thank you for the recognition! We are so proud of how this association has grown into being the leading representative of the global general aviation manufacturing industry. I think GAMA’s success stems from its incredibly talented staff, who work tirelessly to make sure our members’ issues get addressed and advanced around the globe, at all levels and on all fronts – from working with the European Aviation Safety Agency and European Parliament, to working with members of the U.S. Congress and leaders at the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, to giving them a voice at trade shows in Asia, South America, and more places, as well as on working groups and in the press.
Are there difficulties on educating policy makers in the vital contribution that aviation makes to countries and economies?
We find that most people, including policy makers, if they aren’t already aware of this industry, receive the information about it very positively and understand that general and business aviation are a vital part of local/state/provincial/country economies, and provide a vast number of highly-skilled, well-paying jobs for people. They also understand that our industry is one in which there is a higher level of stability and longevity in a career, something that is hard to find these days.
GAMA is well-known and respected for its close tracking of the industry’s shipment and billing numbers, that always talk on growth. But is there a strong commitment to mitigate aviation industry’s impact on climate change?
I’m so glad you asked this question! Your timing couldn’t be better. The business aviation industry continues to be actively engaged in developing solutions to the environmental challenges we all face. Ten years ago this month, GAMA established its Environment Committee, which established a critical mandate making sure GAMA members are full and active participants in shaping general aviation’s environmental impact and initiatives.
In 2009, the industry began to solidify its pledge to environmental stewardship when GAMA and the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) jointly announced the Business Aviation Commitment to Climate Change – a global, industry-wide commitment to mitigating climate change, including specific targets for business aviation. We committed to:
- Improve fuel efficiency 2 percent per year from 2010 until 2020
- Achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020
- Reduce CO2 emissions 50 percent by 2050 relative to 2005.
We designed a path to achieve these goals across four pillars: enhancing operational efficiency, continuing infrastructure improvements, promoting market-based measures, and advancing technology, which includes the development of sustainable alternative jet fuel, or SAJF.
Recently, a coalition of international business aviation organizations joined government officials to redouble their focus on advancing the development and adoption of Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF). Can you tell us a little bit more of this initiative?
On May 28, at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE), the industry launched the Business Aviation Guide to the Use of Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel. The leaders of GAMA, the European Business Aviation Association, IBAC, National Air Transportation Association and National Business Aviation Association as well as many GAMA member companies participated in the launch, including Bombardier Business Aircraft President David Coleal, who is GAMA’s Environment Committee Chairman. Claudia Fusco, Head of Unit for Innovation, Directorate-General for Environment of the European Commission, also joined the launch and provided remarks to shed light on the EU focus on emissions reductions and the role the SAJF initiative plays.
This guide draws a roadmap for the education about, and use of, alternative fuels. It outlines their current availability and drop-in nature, their many benefits, including those to operators, and addresses questions and concerns debunks common myths about SAJF, their sources and impacts. The guide provides the technical background on the development and approval validation of sustainable alternative fuels, sharing the science behind the safety – the industry’s top priority, and a common misconception about SAJF. It includes frequently asked questions for owners, operators, fuel suppliers and FBOs to provide guidance and technical information on sourcing and flying with alternative fuels.
We encourage those interested in learning more about this initiative and accessing the guide to visit futureofsustainablefuel.com.