First biofuel flight between Dehradun and Delhi

• India on Monday would join the elite club of nations who have operated a flight on alternative energy source like biofuel. Spicejet is planning to operate a flight from Dehradun to Delhi using biofuel, which would be first such experiment in India.

• While developed countries like Canada, Australia and US have already conducted these test flights, India would be the first developing nation to experiment that.

• The airline plans to first operate a small test flight of 10 minutes over Dehradun. Based on the result of the test flight, the second flight will later take off to Delhi. The test flight will be attended by several regulatory agencies including DGCA, civil aviation ministry and the airline officials.

• Biofuel, produced from vegetable oils, recycled grease, algae, and animal fat, is an alternative fuel that can be used as an alternative in place of fossil fuels.

• In January this year, the world’s first dedicated biofuel flight took off from Los Angeles to Melbourne. According to some estimates, biofuel has the potential to reduce the aviation carbon emission by up to 80 percent. Global association of airlines International Air Transport Association has set a goal to cut carbon emission for the industry by 50 percent by 2050.

• India, being a net importer of fossil fuels, is making efforts to reduce its dependence on oil imports. India imports nearly 20 percent every year to meet its energy demand. This leads to heavy foreign funds outflows and currency fluctuation uncertainties.

• To reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, India is trying to promote biofuels. The recently released ‘National Policy on Biofuels 2018’, plans to triple ethanol production over the next four years. This will help India to reduce the oil import bill by nearly Rs 12,000 crore.

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