July 28, 2011

Air Transport Association Recommends Actions to Help Ensure the Viability of Alternative Jet Fuels

Airlines Continue to Leverage Every Strategy and Technology Possible to Save Fuel

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on the needs, challenges and opportunities for alternative jet fuels.

The steady rise of jet-fuel prices over the last decade and unprecedented price volatility in recent years has had a tremendous negative impact, not only on the airlines and their employees, but also on the customers and communities they serve throughout the nation. Fuel remains the airlines' largest cost center, representing about one-third of operating expenses. Despite consumption of 3.1 billion fewer gallons of jet fuel in 2010 than in 2000, U.S. airlines spent $22 billion more for fuel.

The airline industry continues to leverage every strategy and technology possible to reduce fuel consumption and related emissions. ATA members have invested billions of dollars in advanced airframes and engines, and continue to seek new procedures to maximize efficiency of operations in the air and on the ground. As a result of such initiatives, U.S. airlines account for only 2 percent of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions inventory and have more than doubled fuel efficiency since 1978. In addition, Department of Transportation statistics show that on a systemwide basis, U.S. airlines carried 7.3 percent more passengers and cargo in 2009 than in 2000, but reduced fuel burn and emissions by 14 percent over the same period.

ATA remains a staunch advocate for advancing the adoption of a global framework for further fuel efficiency and greenhouse-gas-emissions improvements under the International Civil Aviation Organization and as a co-founding and leading member of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative® to help lead the way to the deployment of alternative jet fuels.

"Even with immense ongoing progress to enhance fuel efficiency, we still face head winds; however, with congressional action, we can help ensure the opportunity of alternative jet fuels is realized," said ATA Senior Vice President, Legislative and Regulatory Policy Sharon L. Pinkerton. "We urge Congress to maintain and expand existing programs that have been effective in supporting development of alternative aviation fuels, enact government policies that are technology- and feedstock-neutral and encourage fuel development that provides near-term emissions benefits."

Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and nearly 11 million U.S. jobs. ATA airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. For more information about the airline industry, visit www.airlines.org and follow us on Twitter @airlinesassn.

SOURCE Air Transport Association of America