Cheaper flying, it's a gas

LNG is the answer, if the question is how to ensure airline growth and cut ticket prices, according to a senior RMIT University lecturer.
Cheaper flying, it's a gas Cheaper flying, it's a gas Cheaper flying, it's a gas Cheaper flying, it's a gas Cheaper flying, it's a gas

Aeronautical engineer Graham Dorrington will address the Australian Gas Technology Conference in Perth next month, discussing the near-term prospects for the use of LNG in the aviation sector.

He said the use of LNG in aviation was not as far off as people might think.

"Airline profitability is currently suffering from high kerosene prices and any further increase in kerosene prices could prevent airline market growth or even cause contraction," Dorrington said.

"Substantial changes in airport infrastructure will be required to supply LNG at airports, although that also is a major opportunity.

"Initially airfield-supply prices of aviation quality LNG are likely to be comparable with current kerosene prices, but the supply price will fall, not rise, with time."

Dorrington said LNG stacked up for environmental reasons too.

"Blending LNG in biomethane produced from biogas will result in the net carbon emission rate falling by up to 97 per cent per aircraft flight," he said.

"However, currently the biogas production rates are far too low to be viable.

"As natural gas is a fossil fuel, it is not strictly "sustainable", but the known reserves will last far longer than those of crude oil at current production rates."

Dorrington said there were no unrealistic technical challenges to prevent the use of LNG in the air transport sector.

"Unfortunately there has been no substantial past dialogue between the aviation and LNG sectors, probably because of the tacit assumption that crude-oil derived kerosene fuel or its drop-in substitutes are the only viable aviation fuel options," he said.

Dorrington is presenting at the AGT conference, which will be held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre from July 1 to 3.

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