Posts Tagged ‘Paris Airshow’


Alternative Aviation Fuels Create Big Buzz at 2011 Paris Air Show

July 1, 2011
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Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale is Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services (MAS) within the International Trade Administration (ITA).

The Paris Air Show once again proved to be an exciting venue for innovative technologies, particularly alternative fuels.  A highlight of the show was the Alternative Aviation Fuels Showcase, hosted in the U.S. Pavilion.  In addition to myself and Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez, a number of senior U.S. government officials, including Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, stopped by the booth to chat with U.S. companies about their new technologies.

The Showcase was the center of attention on Wednesday, when the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) and Kallman Worldwide hosted an entire day dedicated to attracting investment for the commercial production of alternative jet fuels.  My Aerospace Team has been collaborating with CAAFI and Kallman for six months to promote this event.  Their efforts proved very successful — over 100 people attended various portions of the day’s events, which included panels on the investment community’s perspective on alternative fuels and on government programs supporting biofuel development.

During my remarks at the Showcase’s investment day, I had the pleasure of introducing Barry Johnson, the recently appointed head of the new SelectUSA initiative, a government-wide initiative housed in the Department of Commerce.  President Obama created SelectUSA on June 17 to showcase the United States and encourage, facilitate, and accelerate business investment in the United States.

Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez (left), ITA Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale (right) and AltAir Founder and CEO Tom Todaro (middle) at the Alternative Aviation Fuels Showcase at the 2011 Paris Air Show.  Photo Courtesy of Kallman Worldwide.

Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez (left), ITA Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale (right) and AltAir Founder and CEO Tom Todaro (middle) at the Alternative Aviation Fuels Showcase at the 2011 Paris Air Show. Photo Courtesy of Kallman Worldwide.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack earned the distinction as the first U.S. Agriculture Secretary to attend a Paris Air Show.  In his remarks to aviation business leaders, Secretary Vilsack indicated that President Obama is planning a major announcement in the “next 30 days or so” regarding the U.S. government’s effort to help develop biofuel.  The Secretary also highlighted U.S. government support for aviation alternative fuels through USDA’s memoranda of understanding with several government and aviation-related agencies, including the Department of Energy, the Air Transport Association, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the U.S. Navy, on efforts to research and develop renewable energy and the infrastructure to support it.

Throughout the week there were a number of exciting announcements related to alternative fuels.  U.S. company Gulfstream completed the first non-stop transatlantic flight using a 50/50 blend of biofuel and petroleum fuel.  The Gulfstream G450 is the first business jet powered by a biofuel and the flight set a record as the first biofuel-powered transatlantic flight.  Later that week, Boeing flew its 747-800 using a fuel with a 15 percent blend of bio to petroleum fuel.  Both fuels were produced by Honeywell Aerospace.  In addition, seven airlines signed letters of intent to negotiate purchase of biomass-derived jet fuel from California-based Solena Fuels.  Another U.S. company, Sapphire Energy, announced that it will produce 20,000 barrels of algae-based jet fuel in two years with the goal of producing at commercially viable levels within seven years.

The companies in the Showcase promoted biofuels as a technically viable replacement for conventional petroleum jet fuels and as a way to help the airline industry reduce its carbon footprint.  In fact, alternative jet fuels could soon be used to power commercial flights.  This summer the standard setting body, ASTM International, is widely expected to certify Hydrotreated Renewable Jet (HRJ) fuel.  HRJ is processed from weedy plants and animal fats and is chemically identical to the crude oil that runs today’s flights.  Following ASTM certification, companies would have a greater incentive to build bio-refineries to produce HRJ fuel on a commercial scale.  In addition to HRJ, another pathway being researched is Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) — fuels derived from alcohol-based sources.  Touted as a low-cost route to production of jet fuel, ATJ research is being funded and conducted by the U.S. military and by U.S. companies such as GEVO and SRI International.  Full certification of ATJ by ASTM is expected by 2013.

One green initiative that I am particularly proud of involves my hometown of Detroit, Michigan, which is using its land to farm bioenergy crops.  The Wayne County Airport Authority, operator of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, has agreed to partner with Michigan State University Extension to grow, harvest, and process bioenergy crops on the property of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and another of the authority’s airports, Willow Run.  The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is supporting the project with a $476,000 grant.  If successful, the project will attract businesses in the area to produce alternative fuels, bring economic development to southeast Michigan and protect land around the airports.

The desire for cleaner, more sustainable fuel sources is a global concern, and everyone on the planet will benefit from reduced dependence on petroleum fuels.  ITA is committed to fostering a green economy so that industry will lead the way in winning the jobs of the future.  As President Obama said, we must seize the moment and accelerate the transition to clean energy.  We, in ITA, will continue to work with U.S. aviation alternative fuel companies and our interagency partners to support this objective.  It was exciting to be part of this event and to support a rapidly growing industry in which the United States is a global leader!


U.S. Aerospace Industry is Making Sales and Promoting Bio Fuel at 2011 Paris Air Show

June 21, 2011

Jonathan Chesebro is an International Trade Specialist for Manufacturing and Services within the International Trade Administration. He is a member of the Aerospace Team and focuses on analysis and promotion of the aerospace industry.

This is the second of two blog articles about the Paris Air Show and the U.S. aerospace industry.

The 2011 Paris Air Show kicked off today and more than 2,100 international exhibitors are showing their wares.  When most people think of Paris they think of the Eiffel Tower, fine red wines and fashionable Europeans strolling the ChampsElysees. When U.S. aerospace companies think of Paris, they think of the world’s oldest and largest air show.

How big is the Paris Air Show?  The 2011 Show will feature 2,000 exhibitors, 340,000 visitors, 200 international delegations, and 3,000 journalists.  According to Louis Le Portz, Chairman of the Show, “every two years, we build the equivalent of a town with 10,000 inhabitants, in order to host 300,000 visitors.”  The show will have over 140 aircraft on display and have daily flying displays.

Boeing's 747-8 at the 2011 Paris Air Show

Boeing’s 747-8 at the 2011 Paris Air Show. Photo Courtesy of Boeing

The International Trade Administration (ITA) has been supporting U.S. aerospace companies at the Paris Air Show for several decades.  This year’s ITA delegation is being led by Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade and Nicole Lamb-Hale, Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services.  At the show, Under Secretary Sánchez and Assistant Secretary Lamb-Hale will tell U.S. aerospace companies all about the activities surrounding the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI), and meet with foreign governments to discuss trade policy and advocate for U.S. firms seeking to make sales.  The Show attracts the participation of CEOs from the major U.S. and foreign aerospace companies as well as high-level government officials from around the world.  In addition, ITA officials will confer with U.S. Congressional and state delegations attending the trade show.

The Under Secretary and the Assistant Secretary will attend a signing ceremony on the second day of the show between Boeing and Aeroflot, Russia’s state-owned airline.  Aeroflot ordered eight Boeing 777s valued at $2.1 billion, and the sales will support approximately 14,000 jobs.  The sale is particularly notable since most of Aeroflot’s fleet consists of Airbus aircraft.  Given that Aeroflot is Russia’s largest airline by passenger volume, and this is their third time purchasing Boeing aircraft, there will likely be additional sales in the future.

While large U.S. aerospace companies such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin often garner much of the attention at the Paris Air Show, ITA is making an effort to focus on small and medium enterprises and companies from the supply chain.  Smaller companies are particularly important as they represent 91 percent of all U.S. exporters of aerospace products.  At a roundtable luncheon hosted by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), Sánchez and Lamb-Hale briefed twenty-one AIA member companies from the supply chain on the NEI and the NEI sector strategies, and discussed what ITA can do to help increase their export sales.

Innovations which benefit the environment are an overall theme of the show.  Alternative aviation  fuels is an emerging industry in which the United States has a lead in technology development.  To demonstrate U.S. Government support for the development of U.S. aviation alternative fuels industry, ITA has been working with the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) and Kallman Worldwide to support the Alternative Aviation Fuels Showcase, a live press and networking event to promote aviation alternative fuels readiness and investment opportunities.  The Showcase features 16 fuel companies showcasing cutting-edge alternative jet fuel technologies.  The third day of the event has been designated “investor day” and will consist of information sessions designed to spur investment in alternative fuel production and networking opportunities for fuel companies, airline customers, and investment firms. Industry observers estimate that $95 billion in investments are required to meet U.S. bio fuel demand by 2022, creating a huge investment opportunity for domestic and foreign investors in many sectors, including aviation.

ITA support for U.S. exhibitors at the Paris Air Show would not be possible without the hard work from the global Commercial Service staff.  On Tuesday, the Under Secretary and Assistant Secretary met with global staff to thank them for their dedication and to brief them on the NEI and ITA activities.  Forty-eight U.S. companies registered for one-on-one aerospace business counseling under the US Commercial Service’s “ShowTime” program, which takes place over two days, and which offers smaller companies the opportunity to sit down with aerospace specialists from 15 countries.  Countries represented include India, Russia, Canada, Turkey, the UK, Germany, the Czech Republic, and the Ukraine.  Over 300 meeting requests have been generated by the U.S. companies to discuss market potential, business strategy and next steps for their products in these markets.

Once the excitement, deal making and press surrounding the Paris Air Show ends, companies will return home to start work to fulfill the orders they received during the grand event. The next major air show will be held at the 2012 Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom.  ITA will be there to help U.S. companies and ensure that the U.S. aerospace industry remains internationally competitive.