NetJets, Clay Lacy Aviation Make Moves Towards Sustainability

The solar array at Clay Lacy Aviation’s Van Nuys headquarters will offset the equivalent of 1.3 million passenger-car miles. Clay Lacy Aviation

Sustainability in aviation forms a central pillar to an increasing number of operators in the GA industry. Two major business aviation stalwarts have made recent announcements regarding their current actions and forward-looking plans to achieve company goals in this critical area.

NetJets has purchased a stake in WasteFuel, a business centered around converting landfill waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The move marks a significant step forward in its investment towards incorporation of SAF into its fleet operations. NetJets plans to purchase 100 million gallons of SAF from WasteFuel over the next 10 years as part of the partnership. The two companies have started work on a plant in Manila, Philippines, to support the company’s growth, along with Prime Infra—an infrastructure development company. When at full capacity, the refinery will convert 1 million tons of municipal waste into 30 million gallons of SAF each year, according to a company press release.

“As the leader in private aviation, NetJets is deeply invested in advancing sustainability across the industry,” said Brad Ferrell, executive vice president of administrative services. After launching our expanded Global Sustainability Program last year, the opportunity to invest in the production of SAF with WasteFuel was a natural next step. The biorefinery tackles the dual environmental problems of the global waste crisis and sustainable fuel, and we’re excited to take this step toward improving accessibility to SAF in the aviation industry.”

In corresponding news, Clay Lacy Aviation announced its latest efforts to support sustainable aviation, with its own infrastructure investment at its primary facility in Van Nuys, California. The company is working towards a net-zero carbon footprint with the installation of a 500 kW, 30,000-sq-ft solar array on the roof of its FBO headquarters at KVNY. The array is expected to produce 750,000 kW hours of electricity annually—offsetting 530 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Additional updates to the facility have included roughly 200 LED light fixtures and 44 electric-vehicle charging stations.

“We are committed to operating sustainably and making significant progress toward a net-zero carbon footprint,” said Scott Cutshall, senior vice president of business operations for Clay Lacy Aviation. “These improvements are the first of many to help us achieve our sustainability goals.”

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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