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Cobham joins sustainable aviation fuels working group

written by Adam Thorn | July 21, 2021
Cobham’s Bombardier Q400

Cobham has joined Qantas and Virgin Australia in signing up to a new working group aimed at advancing the creation of sustainable aviation fuel.

The Sustainable Aviation Fuel Alliance of Australia and New Zealand is overseen by Bioenergy Australia, which itself is attempting to shift the country’s energy output to bio-based fuel, gas, heat and power.

Cobham regional services managing director Dean Brennan said, “One of Bioenergy Australia’s focus areas is green aviation fuel production, which is a key area of interest for us as we continue to pursue sustainable options in our operations.

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“We’re keen to be part of the conversation as an experienced operator of essential FIFO and freight flights across Australia.”

Other members of the new collaboration include Sydney and Brisbane Airport as well as Air New Zealand and ARENA.

It comes after Cobham signed a two-year contract extension with mining company IGO in May to provide FIFO services to its Nova nickel, copper and cobalt mine in WA’s Goldfields region.

The business said it would use its Embraer E190 and the Bombardier Q400s, which output comparatively low carbon emissions.

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IGO chief operating officer Matt Dusci said, “IGO has a strong focus on the sustainability of our operations and we are pleased that Cobham can offer aircraft that help support our continued drive to reduce carbon emissions.”

Brennan said that Cobham recognised the importance of sustainable FIFO options.

“This commitment to using our lowest carbon emission aircraft demonstrates how serious IGO is about making a difference and achieving sustainable outcomes,” he said.

In May last year, Australian Aviation reported how Qantas purchased Cobham’s National Jet Systems, taking 20 Boeing 717 aircraft back in-house.

The business had previously operated the fleet for 15 years on behalf of regional subsidiary QantasLink. The deal effectively killed the 10-year contract with National Jet Systems signed in 2016, however, Cobham continues to operate cargo jets on behalf of Qantas freight.

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