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India wings first biofuel-powered flight

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India wings first biofuel-powered flight
Source: The Aviation Times

SpiceJet airlines planned to operate a turboprop, Q-400, from Dehradun to Delhi on August 27, using biofuel as a sustainable alternative, making India the first developing nation to make such an initiative after countries like United States and Australia.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat flagged off the flight in Dehradun, and hailed a “huge shift” in India’s aviation sector.

“In a first-of- its-kind experiment in India, biofuels developed by Indian Institute of Petroleum – Dehradun, will power an aircraft. A huge step towards encouraging sustainable and alternative fuels for the transportation & aviation sector as envisaged in National Biofuels Policy,” Dharmendra Pradhan, minister for petroleum and natural gas tweeted this morning.

The fuel was developed by Indian Institute of Petroleum, based in the capital of Uttarakhand. The low-cost carrier used a blend of the aviation turbine fuel and biofuel to power the flight.

Fuel is the biggest cost item for an airline, accounting for as much as one-third of the total cost of operations.

SpiceJet CEO Ajay Singh said farmers could grow the crops used to make the fuel. “It is a clean fuel; it creates employment and can improve the lives of Indian farmers,” he said.

Address the nation on the occasion of World Biofuel Day on August 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that biofuel has the power to create a balance between the environment and economic development. He had said, biofuel is not just science but also a Mantra that will provide a new energy to not only India but also the entire world. Mr Modi had also said, biofuel is going to transform and improve the quality of life of the people in both rural and urban areas.


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