Dassault Aviation’s combative chief executive Eric Trappier has come out swinging against those seeking to demonise business aviation, arguing that the industry must fight back.
“Latterly business jet bashing has been a bit of a sport in Europe,” he said during a pre-EBACE press conference on 22 May.
“The best defence is to demonstrate that we are embracing emission-reduction targets,” he says.
He also rails against the “politicised” decision by the European Commission to exclude business aviation from the list of green industries which “can be considered sustainable investments”.
Business aviation’s inclusion would have opened the way for additional funding sources, he argues, spurring further decarbonisation efforts.
“I do hope that the European Commission will change its mind and allow OEMs, suppliers and other business aviation firms to help decarbonise the economy.”
Trappier argues that the best solution for the industry “in the near term and even the longer term” is sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
Dassault is already using a 30% SAF blend to power jets in its internal operations, but Trappier says the lack of wider take-up is “not a technical problem but an economic problem”.
“You need to get the right volume to get the right price,” he says.
While the airframer continues to research longer-term solutions to reduce fuel burn, such as lighter materials or more aerodynamic designs, it has also developed a software-based solution that could yield an emissions cut of up to 10%.
Called FalconWays, the routing system uses live weather data to update flightplans en route, optimising a jet’s trajectory. Flight tests are ongoing, with the results so far promising, says Trappier.
“In real-world testing, we have found we could reduce emissions by a significant percentage,” he adds.