Royal Netherlands Air Force first to operate F-16 Fighting Falcon on SAF
Over the next fortnight, one F-16 Fighting Falcon of the Royal Netherlands Air Force will operate from Leeuwarden Air Base on a 5 percent blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), supplied by SkyNRG, a Netherlands-headed sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) sourcing, supply and development company. This is part of an initiative of the province of Friesland, where the entire community will travel fossil free for two weeks.
The Dutch Ministry of Defence aims to operate more sustainable and takes part in this initiative to reduce particulate matter (PM) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from their flight operations. By using SAF for their F-16 flight operations, the Dutch Ministry of Defence and the Royal Netherlands Air Force want to help stimulate demand for SAF and development of the SAF industry.
It’s great to see that the Dutch Ministry of Defence and the Royal Netherlands Air Force are taking a leading role in reducing emissions from government flight operations. We’re very excited to supply Leeuwarden Air Base for their first F-16 Fighting Falcon flight operations on sustainable aviation fuel. We’re looking forward to continuing our collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Air Force and we’re hopeful that these flights will inspire governments worldwide, said Eline Schapers, Head of Supply & Operations at SkyNRG.
Furthermore, the Ministry wants to continue this two-week flight programme, by operating all F-16’s at Leeuwarden Air Base on a SAF blend later this year. The SAF used in the F-16 aircraft is made from used cooking oil (UCO) and produced by AltAir Fuels in California, US.
In 2010 an Apache AH-64D helicopter of the Royal Netherlands Air Force flew with one of its engines running on a 50 percent SAF blend, supplied by SkyNRG. This flight was for demonstrative purposes and to underline the importance of sustainability for the Dutch Ministry of Defence.
The upcoming F-16’s flights are the next logical step for the Ministry of Defence, following their ongoing efforts to enable the use of sustainable aviation fuel in military aviation over the past years.
Eight years ago we demonstrated the possibility to fly on SAF with one of our helicopters. However, SAF is still more expensive because it is not used widely and it’s not used widely because SAF is still more expensive. It’s a classic ‘Chicken-Egg’ dilemma. We would like to fly more sustainable and hope to help solve this dilemma resulting in lower prices, a broader use of SAF and more sustainable aviation, said Paul de Witte, Colonel at the Royal Netherlands Air Force