Airlines To Use Synthetic Diesel for Ground Service Equipment

The Air Transport Association of America, Inc. (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, announced earlier this week that eight of its member airlines have signed an agreement with Rentech, Inc. and Aircraft Service International Group (ASIG) to purchase up to 1.5 million gallons per year of renewable synthetic diesel fuel (RenDiesel) for use in ground service equipment at Los Angeles International Airport, beginning in late 2012, when Rentech’s plant to produce the fuel is scheduled to go into service.

The initial airline purchasers of RenDiesel are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, UPS Airlines and US Airways, with the potential for adding other airline partners.

The renewable RenDiesel will be produced at the commercial-scale facility that Rentech is developing in Rialto, California, primarily from urban woody green waste such as yard clippings. The fuel is expected to have a low carbon footprint and minimal particulates.

ASIG, which provides fueling services to many airlines that operate at LAX, will handle receipt and dispensing of the RenDiesel. Other discussions regarding potential alternative fuels agreements are continuing through the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, of which ATA is a founding member.

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