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NOV. 18, 2021

Energy Ministry and Transport and Telecommunications Ministry launch “Vuelo Limpio” program alongside airlines to promote sustainability

The initiative invites domestic airlines to adopt the use of tools that reduce greenhouse gas emissions during the transportation of goods and passengers, in order to contribute to environmental care. The Junta Aeronáutica Civil (Chile’s Civil Aeronautics Board, JAC) and the Chilean Energy Sustainability Agency will certify the companies annually. 

Transport and Telecommunications Minister Gloria Hutt, Energy Undersecretary Francisco López, JAC Secretary General Martín Mackenna and Deputy Director of Content at the Energy Sustainability Agency, Mariana Pavón, have presented the Vuelo Limpio (Clean Flight) program, alongside representatives from JetSMART, LATAM and SKY airlines. 

The initiative aims to design and implement a national public-private sustainable aviation program to improve the efficiency of cargo and passenger transport in the civil aviation industry. It seeks to promote airlines’ good practices in energy management in order to reduce fuel consumption and thus contribute to environmental protection. 

“We applaud and emphasize the commitment made today by Chile’s domestic airlines, where they have agreed to set out on a path of sustained improvements in energy management processes for transporting goods and passengers in the civil aviation industry. Care for the environment must be a fundamental pillar in the development of all industries, especially air transport, where before the pandemic 15 million people were traveling on domestic flights in Chile and 11 million on international flights,” said the Transport and Telecommunications Minister. 

Meanwhile, Undersecretary López stressed, “we have the great challenge of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and the sustainability of transportation will be key to achieving this goal and consolidating Chile as a clean energy country. It’s important that we keep working together collaboratively to promote and extend the use of cleaner technologies, so that everyone can benefit from sustainable transport.” 

Public-private initiative 

Vuelo Limpio is a collaborative initiative developed by JAC and the Chilean Energy Sustainability Agency. The latter is in charge of providing tools and developing the pilot plan by supporting the creation of action plans for participating airlines. 

“Transport in Chile is responsible for 37% of final energy consumption, and 13% of this corresponds to aviation. Vuelo Limpio will collaborate with airlines to improve energy and environmental management, identifying opportunities to reduce fuel consumption and developing guides and tools. In this way, we hope to contribute to the progress of the domestic civil aviation industry in meeting energy roadmap goals and international standards,” added Mariana Pavón, Deputy Director of Content at the Energy Sustainability Agency. 

During the first stage, the program will establish a fuel consumption baseline associated with each flight and create indicators such as liters of fuel per passenger-kilometer or greenhouse gas emissions. 

This will provide in-depth understanding of domestic aviation activity and promote effective and informed decision-making regarding technologies and best practices for fuel saving and energy efficiency. At the same time, it will make it possible to identify potential gaps to work on in order to position air transport in Chile as a regional benchmark in energy management. 

This public-private initiative also seeks to promote the use of cleaner technologies, such as sustainable aviation fuels and green hydrogen (H2V), in addition to developing energy efficiency pilot programs for the airline industry. 

“We are very pleased to be part of a pioneering initiative in Chile, and one that aligns with our internal objectives. From the beginning of our operation, we set out to work responsibly, under a sustainable model in terms of reducing our carbon footprint. We are doing this with a fleet of new aircraft, to which we have recently agreed to add 23 Airbus A321 aircraft that reduce emissions by 30% per seat, and we have even ventured into the use of environmentally friendly biofuel. As the airline industry, we have a key role to play in decarbonization, and the awarding of a Vuelo + Limpio (Cleaner Flight) Certification takes us in that direction,” said the CEO of JetSMART, Estuardo Ortiz. 

“We enthusiastically joined this process with the understanding that every effort is important and urgent. We are convinced that we cannot think of a future in which LATAM does not go hand-in-hand with supporting our ecosystems and communities, and we will keep working towards this,” said Juan José Tohá, LATAM Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability. 

“Initiatives such as these represent a great challenge for airlines, as they allow us to identify opportunities for improvement in terms of recording and reducing CO2 emissions. At SKY we are investing in these areas, especially in the renewal of our fleet, with the goal of limiting environmental impact and contributing to a sustainable operation,” explained José Ignacio Dougnac, CEO of SKY. 

At the end of the first year, JAC and the Energy Sustainability Agency will award the Vuelo + Limpio Certification to those airlines that have reported their emissions data for a calendar year. In the second stage, recognition will be given to companies that implement the recommendations developed alongside airlines. 

At the end of the development period, the Vuelo Limpio initiative will implement a national sustainable aviation program, with challenges and proposals for managing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.