In its latest effort to make air travel cleaner and greener, the Federal Aviation Administration has announced $125 million in new contracts that will get us closer to technologies for reducing commercial jet fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and noise. Since FAA forecasts significant air traffic growth over the next 20 years, this is good news for all of us.
Through their CLEEN--Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise--program, FAA has awarded contracts to five companies--Boeing, General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls Royce--to develop and demonstrate new technologies, procedures, and alternative fuels that help us meet our environmental and energy goals:
- Reducing fuel burn by 33%, which will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
- Reducing landing and takeoff nitrogen oxide emissions by 60%--without increasing other emissions--over the 2004 International Civil Aviation Organization standard;
- Reducing noise levels by 32 dB relative to the current noise standard; and
- Increasing use of more sustainable jet fuels, with transition strategies that don't require significant aircraft or engine modification.
Now those are ambitious goals, but through the government-industry consortium announced by FAA today, we are one step closer to achieving them.
And the recipient companies' agreement to match these funds will help us get there more cost-effectively. This will double the impact of the $125 million in awards to $250 million. Some or all of the five companies may even choose to exceed their match, adding further value to these contracts.
Look, there's no question that commercial aviation is of vital importance to America. But we also have a responsibility to look for ways to reduce our environmental footprint and our energy consumption.
And with its NextGen advances and CLEEN contracts, the FAA is demonstrating their commitment to that effort. As FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said today, "The CLEEN program is a central piece of our environmental strategy."