Air Canada and Airbus have entered a partnership with BioFuelNet Canada to research alternative fuels developed within its home country.
The three parties signed the agreement on 13 May at the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) Aviation and Environmental workshop in Montreal.
BioFuelNet is a centre of excellence funded by the Canadian government that brings together the country's biofuel researchers.
The partnership will produce an assessment of alternative fuel options by the end of this year, with the goal of studying the processes and raw materials available to make alternative fuels and assessing how sustainable different methods are.
"Air Canada has already operated two flights with biofuel and on each occasion we substantially reduced our emissions," says Paul Whitty, Air Canada's director of fuel purchasing and supply in a statement. "We look forward to participating in this project to encourage the development of a source of alternative fuel in Canada. New technologies, such as alternative fuels, are one of the ways our industry plans to reduce its emissions to meet its target of carbon-neutral growth for 2020 and beyond."
Airbus and Air Canada cut carbon dioxide emissions by 40% by using alternative fuels and modern air traffic technology on a flight from Toronto to Mexico City in June 2012.
"Any new alternative fuel has to work on existing and future aircraft without modification while meeting certification requirements," says Frédéric Eychenne, manager of Airbus' new energies programme. "Airbus supports this project to ensure that the solutions are sustainable, affordable and technically suitable for all aircraft."
The IATA has outlined a goal for the industry to cut net emissions in half by 2050 compared to 2005 and achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020.