FAA Provides $300M For Sustainability-Related Projects

FAA building
FAA Headquarters, Washington DC
Credit: Mark Nensel/Aviation Week

The FAA has announced almost $300 million in funding for projects to develop sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply chains and technologies to reduce aviation emissions.

The first round of awards under the Fueling Aviation’s Sustainable Transition (FAST) grant program is expected in mid-2024.

The FAST program was included in the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, enacted in August 2022, which also established a blenders’ tax credit for SAF production.

The SAF part of the program, FAST-SAF, will provide $244.5 million in grants to support the build out of infrastructure projects related to fuel production, transportation, blending, and storage. The goal of these projects will be to build up regional supply chains and increase SAF use.

The other part of the program, FAST-Tech, will provide $46.5 million in grants to develop and demonstrate new technologies to improve aircraft fuel efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increase SAF usage. Eligible entities include airports, airlines, industry, universities, state and local governments, and nonprofit organizations.

The FAST initiative is in addition to the FAA’s long-running Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise (CLEEN) program, a public-private partnership with industry that began in 2010. Over three five-year phases, the FAA has invested $325 million in CLEEN, with industry contributing at least $490 million.

CLEEN Phase III was launched in 2021, with R&D activities to run to 2026, and a fourth phase of the program is in development, planned to run from 2025 through 2029. A market survey for CLEEN Phase IV was released in December 2022, and a solicitation for proposals is expected in 2024.

Graham Warwick

Graham leads Aviation Week's coverage of technology, focusing on engineering and technology across the aerospace industry, with a special focus on identifying technologies of strategic importance to aviation, aerospace and defense.