President Obama signed H.R. 4310, The National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA). The NDAA will allow the Department of Defense (DOD) to procure and refine advanced biofuels capable of powering aircraft and maritime vessels. ALPA worked hard with our coalition partners to ensure that favorable language regarding advanced biofuels was included in the NDAA. Our efforts yielded strong bipartisan support for two amendments offered by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) and Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC). The amendments were necessary to correct unfavorable language inserted by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) during consideration by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The House passed version of NDAA also contained unfavorable language regarding advanced biofuels.
The purchasing power of DOD and continued procurement of advanced biofuels will help bring the price of this technology down so the benefits of advanced biofuels can be realized by the aviation industry. Fuel remains our highest and most volatile cost in the aviation industry. Advanced biofuels hold the promise of stabilizing fuel costs and allowing our industry to better compete in the global market. We consider this a win for ALPA and our industry.