Editor Welcome.qxp_JMesingerNov06 18/05/2021 09:43 Page 1
Guest Editor’s VIEWPOINT Mark Burns
Steering the Industry Toward Sustainability s an industry, we all have a role to play in creating an ecosystem where environmentalism cannot just survive, but thrive. We have a responsibility to be a leader. The industry’s trade and advocacy organizations laid the groundwork for exactly that in 2009, when they rallied behind three key objectives:
Improving fuel efficiency by an average of 2% per year from 2010 to 2020. Carbon neutral growth from 2020 onward. A 50% reduction in total carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 (relative to 2005).
Ever since, OEMs, FBOs, fuel suppliers and refiners have worked together to encourage the industry to embrace and adopt environmentally-friendly practices that will help us achieve those goals.
Gulfstream has championed those efforts from the beginning and continues to do so through a laser-like focus on innovation. Whether it’s driving engine and aerodynamic design efficiency, reducing manufacturing waste, or demonstrating the safety, reliability and utility of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), we are doing our part to help drive the industry toward a sustainable future. We started this journey in earnest back in 2008, when we were designing the next generation of Gulfstream aircraft with low noise, low emissions, and fuel-efficiency in mind. The G500 and G600 that resulted from those efforts offer a more spacious passenger cabin and fly at faster cruise speeds than the aircraft they replace, yet offer as much as a 32% improvement in fuel efficiency. Our innovations extend to aircraft operation, as well. The Gulfstream in-production fleet was the first approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to use enhanced flight vision to touchdown and rollout, which allows Gulfstream aircraft (and authorized operators) to land when
others may need to divert or circle, wasting both fuel and time. In terms of powering our planes, Gulfstream has long championed the use of SAF. We signed the industry’s first long-term agreement for a steady supply of low-carbon SAF back in 2015 and have been using the fuel regularly since our first delivery in 2016. Earlier this year, we had flown more than 1.4 million nautical miles on the fuel, eliminating 2,500 metric tons of carbon emissions. A SAF blend even powered the first flight of the new Gulfstream G700 in early 2020, and later that same year, I announced a five-year extension of our agreement for a steady supply of SAF. And while those are all significant sustainability accomplishments, we haven’t stopped there. Earlier this year, engine supplier Rolls-Royce successfully used 100% SAF on a Gulfstream G700 engine, helping to clear the way for possible certification of straight SAF use (right now, SAF is certified for blends up to 50%). For those operators without access to SAF (and even for those with it), there is our carbon offsets program, where operators can pay a monthly fee that is invested in environmentally-beneficial activities to offset their flying hours/emissions. So far, the program has aided in protecting threatened forests and producing wind energy. Efficient manufacturing is also part of the effort to reduce Gulfstream’s environmental impact. The tools we have at our disposal today reduce cycle times, decrease energy and water usage and eliminate significant waste.
More for us All to Do…
Gulfstream’s work is not yet done, and neither is the industry’s. While a spirit of innovation has propelled us on our environmental journey, a spirit of cooperation is what’s needed to succeed. We must move forward, not as competitors, but as collaborators willing to do what’s necessary to ensure the continued viability and sustainability of our industry. I encourage you to join this important journey. Leadership matters. Results matter. ❙
Mark Burns is President of Gulfstream Aerospace Corp, a position he has held since 2015. He also serves as a Vice President of General Dynamics. Burns has spent more than 35 years with Gulfstream, and in 2018 was a recipient of the National Aeronautic Association’s Wesley L. McDonald Distinguished Statesman of Aviation Award for his significant contributions to aeronautics. More information from www.gulfstream.com
4 Vol 25 Issue 6 2021 AVBUYER MAGAZINE