Elite Traveler Winter 2021

etr li at ve eler WINTER 2021/22 121

NEED TO KNOW 4AIR was born when Directional Aviation decided the industry needed specialist solutions to aid its green push


Directional Aviation is one of the most prominent players in business aviation; it includes an OEM (original equipment manufacturer), MRO (maintenance, repair and operations), and charter brokers and operators with well-known consumer brands such as Flexjet, Sentient Jet and PrivateFly. So when Directional Aviation was looking at how to up its sustainability quotient, it noticed that the providers were generalists. Enter 4AIR. Launched in January 2021, it focuses entirely on private aviation, with plans to be eventually spun off. “Aviation is so nuanced. There are so many different needs; we didn’t want to just build a department. We wanted to build a comprehensive approach. We wanted to do something that was applicable for the bigger industry,” says Kennedy Ricci, CEO. Ricci compares 4AIR’s four tiers to Argus safety ratings of charter operators. He says they give consumers and competitors better visibility and transparency into who is doing what. At the base, Bronze is verification and validation, including acquiring the carbon offsets and handling documentation that comes with being carbon neutral. However, Ricci notes, carbon emissions only account for one-third of a private jet’s impact. The remainder of warming pollutants includes water vapor, aerosols and nitrous oxides. The Silver level requires buying offsets equivalent to 300% of CO2 waste, making companies emissions neutral. Gold status, which Ricci describes as “beyond neutral,” requires a 5% direct emissions reduction. It includes using sustainable fuels, route optimization, and the use of the most fuel-efficient aircraft. Platinum is for “climate champions” and involves funding research into electric aircraft, alternative power and cleaner fuels. So far, 4Air has over a dozen clients in addition to companies that are part of the Directional Aviation family, and Ricci says there are endless opportunities, from FBOs to corporate flight departments and even educating pilots. 4air.aero

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