The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced $300 million in funding for projects to help the aviation sector reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The application window is now open for $245 million in Fueling Aviation's Sustainable Transition Sustainable Aviation Fuels (FAST-SAF) infrastructure projects and $47 million in low-emission aviation technology projects. The funding comes from the Inflation Reduction Act.
The new FAST-SAF grants will focus on producing, transporting and blending sustainable aviation fuel. Separately, the FAST-Tech funds aim to accelerate aviation technology projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve aircraft fuel efficiency and increase the usage of sustainable aviation fuel. Entities eligible for the program include airports, air carriers, universities, aviation and aerospace companies, state and local governments, and nonprofit organizations.
The federal cost share is 75 percent, unless the eligible entity is a small hub or non-hub airport. In that case, the cost share shall increase to 90 percent of the total proposed project cost. In addition, there are five statutory criteria for evaluating potential projects:
- the capacity for an eligible entity to increase the domestic production and deployment of sustainable aviation fuel or the use of low-emission aviation technologies among the U.S. commercial aviation and aerospace industry
- the projected greenhouse gas emissions from such a project, including emissions resulting from the development of the project, and the potential the project has to reduce or displace, on a life cycle basis, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions associated with air travel
- the capacity to create new jobs and develop supply chain partnerships in the U.S.
- for projects related to the production of sustainable aviation fuel, the projected life cycle greenhouse gas emissions benefits from the proposed project, which shall include feedstock and fuel production and potential direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions (including resulting from changes in land use)
- the benefits of ensuring a diversity of feedstocks for sustainable aviation fuel, including the use of waste carbon oxides and direct air capture
The competitive grant process opened on Sept. 25, 2023, and the deadline for application is Nov. 27, 2023. The FAA's target for the first round of grant awards is mid-2024. Additional information is available in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
The FAA will hold a webinar to walk through the NOFO and answer questions on Oct. 2, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. ET. View webinar access instructions.