Since 2006, the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) has sought to enhance energy security and environmental sustainability for aviation through the use of alternative jet fuels. CAAFI is a coalition of airlines, aircraft and engine manufacturers, energy producers, researchers, international participants and U.S. government agencies. Together these stakeholders are leading the development and deployment of alternative jet fuels for commercial aviation.
CAAFI’s goal is to promote the development of alternative jet fuel options that offer equivalent safety and favorable costs compared with petroleum based jet fuel, while offering environmental improvement and energy supply security for aviation.
The volatility in petroleum prices caused fuel to become the single largest component of U.S. airline operating costs for the first time in history in 2006. And, concern about the environmental impacts of aviation growth is also rising within the international community. While U.S. commercial aviation consumes about 3 percent of U.S. total energy use, it drives about 6 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product and just under 9 percent of national employment. Secure and sustainable fuel sources are essential for its continued prosperity to the benefit of the American people.
Aviation is international in scope, highly integrated in its fuel supply chain and, because of a significant ability to align and coordinate within the industry, well positioned to pursue alternative fuels.
Function & Focus
The CAAFI coalition focuses the efforts of the commercial aviation sector to engage the emerging alternative fuels industry. CAAFI enables its diverse participants—representing all the leading stakeholders in the field of aviation—to build relationships, share and collect data, identify resources, and direct research, development, and deployment of alternative jet fuels. CAAFI hosts technical workshops, coordinates with domestic and international aviation interests, participates in energy and financial industry forums, and communicates with stakeholders via webinars, presentations, and print media.
CAAFI members are organized into teams focused in four areas:
- Fuel Certification and Qualification
To ensure the safety of any alternative fuels given the demanding environment posed by aviation operations, participants are creating a new jet fuels approval process via the ASTM International standard setting body. Fuel approval will enable the safe use of alternative jet fuels and guarantee manufacturer, user, and regulatory confidence in them.
- Research and Development
To improve understanding of the broad range of new fuel production technologies and feedstocks that can be applied to aviation, participants are sharing analyses and identifying and coordinating research activities.
To ensure that relevant environmental, social, and economic risks and performance metrics are understood and given consideration at every stage of alternative jet fuel development, evaluation, and deployment.
To facilitate the deployment of alternative jet fuels in the marketplace, participants are connecting fuel producers and consumers, evaluating the business case for use of alternative jet fuel, and identifying opportunities for deployment.
CAAFI members meet regularly to share updates on the state of alternative jet fuel developments, identify gaps and challenges, and determine next steps in the research, development, and deployment process.
For more information on CAAFI, see the CAAFI FAQs.