SpiceJet Tests India’s First Biofuel-Powered Flight

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SpiceJet tests India's first biofuel-powered flight

SpiceJet operated India’s first test flight powered by biojet fuel. It marks a new chapter in the fast-growing domestic aviation sector.

The nearly 45-minute flight from Dehradun to the national capital was operated with a Bombardier Q400 aircraft, partially powered by biojet fuel made from Jatropha plant, according to an airline official. The flight landed at around 1150 hours here.

A Bombardier Q400 aircraft, partially using biojet fuel, took off from Dehradun and landed at the airport in the national capital. The SpiceJet flight was powered with a blend of 75% air turbine fuel (ATF) and 25% biojet fuel. The Q400 aircraft has 78 seats.

SpiceJet in a statement said the advantage of using biojet fuel as compared to ATF is that it reduces carbon emissions and enhances fuel efficiency. Made from Jatropha crop, the fuel has been developed by the CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun, SpiceJet said.

SpiceJet on Monday said it has successfully operated “India’s first ever biojet fuel flight”.

Around 20 people, including officials from aviation regulator DGCA and SpiceJet, were in the test flight. The duration of the flight was around 25 minutes, according to an airline executive.

SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said biojet fuel is low cost and helps in significantly reducing carbon emissions.

“It has the potential to reduce our dependence on traditional aviation fuel by up to 50% on every flight and bring down fares,” he said.

The biojet fuel has been recognized by American Standard Testing Method (ASTM) and meets the specification standards of Pratt & Whitney and Bombardier for commercial application in aircraft.

Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said the government plans to come out with a “special policy” for use of biofuel in the aviation sector.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in a tweet, “Taking our biofuel mission forward @PetroleumMin will be bringing a new Bio- ATF Policy soon,”

Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said biojet fuel is carbon neutral and that only “three to four nations are using biojet fuel”.

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