748 Air Services eyes electric engines to cut carbon emissions
As the deadline for countries to start mandatory
compliance with carbon emission reduction requirements for international
aviation closes in, local airlines have begun stepping up their game.
Local operators are making commitments to increase the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), and electrifying engines as they ramp up carbon offsetting schemes to cut down emissions.
Humanitarian airline 748 Air Services mulls a plan to introduce electric-powered engines to its fleet of aircrafts as it steps up its race towards carbon neutrality.
748 Air Services Managing Director, Moses Mwangi said the airline is engaging with an engine manufuacturer to electrify planes as part of its aggressive push to achieve net zero emissions.
“I am happy to report here that a leading manufacturer of our engines is currently working on a program to have them electrified,” said Mwangi.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), has set 2026 as the deadline for countries to start mandatory compliance with carbon emission reduction requirements for international aviation.
Mwangi spoke during the annual tree planting exercise organized by the Kakamega Forest Heritage Foundation and follows its 2022 plans to begin offsetting its carbon emissions in 2023 to compensate for an equal amount of tonnes of CO2 its aircraft are emitting.
“We recognised in aviation we are burning alot of fuel, so our footprint is heavy and felt that its our duty to come back to the community and make sure we have a way that we can offset carbon. We need to reduce it, we have no question about it,” said Mwangi.
748 Air Services is among first airlines to pilot a United Nations scheme that test how much carbon airlines release during flights and come up with profiles that reduces burning of fuel. This is on how you fly, taxiing -movement of an aircraft on the ground, under its own power, among other things to reduce the carbon footprint.
"We are very proud because this was later adapted worldwide, from it we can see reduction especially from our company where we are able to save 10% and 15% of the fuel burn, that amounts to tens of tonnes of carbon per year,” he said.
The airline planted 7 acres of trees at the expansive Kakamega forest with plans to expand to more acres in subsequent excersises for a bigger impact on its carbon off-setting program.
“The 7 acres is small scale. we are going to do this on a large scale in the near future...a baby tree of eight years is able to suck upto 8Kilograms of carbon, affirming significance of this exercise,” said 748 Air services Environment Manager, George Oduor.
Oduor said while Humanitarian aviation has been exempted from carbon offsetting, the airline is committed to sustainable development goals adding that as a policy from top management 748 air services is a responsible corporate firm.
International Energy Agency data shows aviation accounted for over 2% of global energy-related CO2 emissions in 2021, saying airline emissions have grown faster in recent decades than road, rail or shipping.
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