A&S Interview: Richard Altman
Executive Director, Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative
- By Paul Hoversten
- Air & Space magazine, January 2011
(Page 2 of 2)
Altman: I don’t think we have a problem that everyone else doesn’t have. The question is, will we find solutions before others do? And that’s going to require some policy changes in the government. Things like, do you do crop insurance? We have those for food crops, but not energy crops. Are you going to have a [federal] subsidy for these fuels, say, $1 a gallon? Most of the producers say you need it on a three-year basis to justify investment. The good news is, we know where the problems are. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the aviation sector are engaged in a very intense dialogue in those and other areas. I think within the next six months to a year, we’ll see some very significant breakthroughs on the investment side.
A&S: What’s ahead for alternative fuel research?
Altman: One is qualification of the fuel; we can’t go anywhere without that. Another is finding practical solutions on the investment front, which are in the works. And finally, ensuring that the feedstocks come along as quickly as could be used in engines. We could be in a position where you could actually fly the stuff and qualify more crops than could be grown. Those are the three challenges.