SpiceJet operates the first biofuel flight

SpiceJet chairman and MD Ajay Singh reacts after landing of the first flight on biofuel, at the airport of Delhi on Monday. (PTI)

Although the country's first biofuel flight was tested with the landing of a SpiceJet plane in Dehradun's capital on Monday, the commercial use of biofuel in the aviation sector is still a few years away. Road transport and highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said the government is working on a policy for the use of biogas fuel in the aviation sector, but what is currently available is not sufficient for commercial activities. "We are still far away from commercial flights with biojet fuel, it was a technology demonstration and proved to be successful, we are working on a policy for this, first of all to ensure mass production of biofuel," explained Gadkari.

He was supported by experts. "The biofuel is prepared in a lab, it is clear that this is not enough for commercial operations, we need tons of oilseed", said IIP director Anjan Kumar. He added that it took six months of preparation to carry out this test flight.

Minister Suresh Prabhu of civil aviation said that the use of biofuels would be promoted within the framework of the proposed aviation action plan. "The aviation action plan, which provides the basis for the growth of the aviation sector, will give priority to biofuels, it is cost-friendly and protects the environment and it will receive special attention in the future," he said.

SpiceJet, chairman and general manager Ajay Singh, said that the use of biojet fuel could save around 15-20% on ATF for airlines. "The biogas fuel has the potential to reduce the cost of aviation in India by 15-20%, it can both lower tariffs for consumers and reduce CO2 emissions," Singh told reporters.

On Monday, a bombardier Q400 aircraft with a mixture of 75% aircraft turbine (ATF) and 25% biogas fuel from Uttarakhand's capital Dehradun left for a successful landing at Indira Gandhi International, capital of the capital.

The biostar fuel used in the test plane was made from jatropha crop that is an oil-producing seed. Biofuel refers to the fuel produced directly or indirectly from organic material such as agricultural residues, food oils and household waste.

The Dutch airline was the first airline in the world to carry out a commercial flight with bikher fuels in 2011. The courier offers a daily flight from Los Angeles to Amsterdam using the alternative energy source. According to the international standard, a maximum of 50% of the biofuel can mix with the traditional fuel for the aerospace industry.

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