KLM is set to introduce biofuel to its fuel supply at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The news comes as the flight shaming movement brings increased scrutiny of the aviation industry in Europe.
Airlines across Europe, and indeed the world, are currently looking at ways to tackle their environmental impact. While these range from carbon offsetting to reducing the weight of aircraft parts, the industry is also looking into the feasibility of increasing the global usage of so-called biofuels. In fact, some airlines such as British Airways and KLM are investing in the very plants that will produce biofuels in the future.
What is KLM’s plan?
KLM is looking to introduce biofuel to its general fuel supply in Amsterdam. The Dutch airline is partnering with Neste to produce biofuel from used cooking oil! The airline has said that it is able to cut CO2 emissions by up to 80% compared to using traditional fossil fuels.
KLM has bulk purchased a certain amount of biofuel, however, the exact amount was not immediately apparent. This will enter into the airline’s existing fuel supply at Schiphol Airport, using the existing fuel infrastructure. This means it will use the same storage tanks and pipes as the regular jet fuel.
As with other airlines, KLM is working with partners to construct a plant to build sustainable biofuels. In the case of the Dutch flag carrier, the airline is working to build a plant in Delfzijl in the Netherlands.
KLM’s biofuel plant is scheduled to open in 2022, or two to three years time. Once the plant has been completed, it will be able to supply the Dutch airline with 75,000 tonnes of sustainable fuel per year. The airline is also in the process of retiring gas-guzzling aircraft, such as the Boeing 747, as it introduces more efficient aircraft to its fleet including the Boeing 787.
KLM’s CEO, Pieter Elbers, gives his full support to the sustainable aviation fuel movement, saying that it is “currently one of the most effective ways to reduce CO2 emissions in the airline industry”.
Elsewhere in the industry
KLM’s owner, Air France-KLM, takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. The airline group is currently trying to encourage its passengers to fly responsibly. Meanwhile, KLM’s sister airline Air France has committed to carbon offsetting all of its domestic flights from January.
Of course, there is still much that can be done by airlines across the globe, but every marathon starts with a single step. With airlines such as British Airways and KLM investing in sustainable jet fuels, maybe other airlines will begin to follow suit.
What do you make of KLM’s biofuel purchase for Amsterdam? Is it the first step to the future, or a load of hot air? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!