India is set to introduce its first-ever biofuel flight that will travel between Delhi and Dehradun on Monday. SpiceJet is planning to operate a turboprop, Q-400, using biofuel. With this latest achievement, the country will join the elite list of countries like the US, Canada, and Australia that have successfully conducted test flights in the past.
The Times Of India quoted sources as saying that the demonstration flight will take off from Dehradun and test-fly for around 10 minutes over the city before heading back. If the test is successful, Q-400 will once again take-off from Dehradun and head to Delhi. Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) officials along with a few others from various regulatory agencies will be on board to see if the test is successful. No passengers will be on onboard.
Business Standard has quoted sources as saying that the flight will be powered by a mix of conventional air turbine fuel and biofuel. While Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun has developed the fuel, DGCA and Indian Oil have analysed it.
Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, Environment, Forests and Climate Change- Government of India, tweeted:
An epoch-making development – the first test-flight of a commercial aircraft on #Biofuel, developed by #IndianInstituteOfPetroleum (IIP), Dehradun – a laboratory under @CSIR_IND. @PMOIndia, @dpradhanbjp. @PIB_India. pic.twitter.com/nggyVZ90ve
— Dr. Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) August 25, 2018
Around 10 years ago, the first-ever biofuel flight was flown by Virgin Atlantic between London and Amsterdam.
On May 16, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the National Policy on Biofuels 2018. It was released on August 10, 2018 – World Biofuel Day.
According to the official print release of the National Policy on Biofuels, ‘the Policy encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, used cooking oil, short gestation crops.’
The policy aims to generate employment and additional income to farmers, other than offering a cleaner and healthier environment.