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26-09-2022

Southeast Asia’s first helicopter flight using sustainable aviation fuel takes off from Seletar Airport in Singapore

Today, Bell’s next generation five seater helicopter, the Bell 505, fueled with Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ (SAF) took off at Seletar Airport in Singapore for a demonstration flight. This is the first ever helicopter flight fueled with SAF in Southeast Asia.

This remarkable milestone was achieved by a close cooperation between Bell, Safran Helicopter Engines and Neste, with Jet Aviation and Shell Aviation enabling the blended SAF to be uplifted through their facilities at Seletar Airport. The demo flight showcases the commitment of the business aviation community, as an integral component of the aviation industry, to the industry’s ambitious emissions reduction goals and adopting SAF as a key element in helping achieve these goals. 

Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%* over the fuel’s life cycle compared to fossil jet fuel use. SAF can currently be used up to 50% blended with conventional jet fuel, and Safran helicopter engines are already certified to operate on up to 50% SAF.

“Bell has been in Southeast Asia for more than 40 years and we are proud to operate the first SAF helicopter flight here on our Bell 505,” said Jacinto Monge, managing director, Asia Pacific, Bell. “Today’s flight demonstrates our commitment to incorporating SAF into our customer demonstration aircraft globally, supporting Textron’s Achieve 2025 Sustainable Footprint goal for 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.”

“We strongly believe in SAF, as it contributes to significantly reducing CO2 emissions. As all our helicopter engines, the Arrius 2R, is already certified to operate on up to 50% SAF, and we are fully ready to assist all Bell 505 operators worldwide in their transition from conventional fossil fuels to SAF. With our products, we are proud to play an active role in the development of decarbonization initiatives in Asia Pacific” says Valerie Patuel, Managing Director of Safran Helicopter Engines Asia, CEO & Country General Delegate of Safran Singapore.

“The ambitious emissions reduction goals of the aviation industry can only be achieved through wide-scale adoption and use of sustainable aviation fuel and cooperation across the stakeholders in the aviation ecosystem. With today’s demo flight, we showcase that SAF can safely and easily be used also for helicopter operations. I am also proud that this milestone was achieved in Singapore. With the expansion of our Singapore refinery nearing completion, and the ongoing modification of our Rotterdam refinery, we will be able to produce up to 1.5 million tons of SAF by the end of 2023, ready to support aviation globally and in the Asia-Pacific region,” says Sami Jauhiainen, Vice President APAC, Renewable Aviation at Neste.

SAF delivers the performance of conventional jet fuel but with a significantly smaller carbon footprint on a life cycle basis. Neste MY SAF is produced 100% from sustainably-sourced, renewable waste and residue raw materials, such as used cooking oil and animal fat waste. Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel is a today solution, commercially available and in use worldwide. 

*) Calculated with established life cycle assessment (LCA) methodologies, such as CORSIA methodology

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