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Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) Research & Development Center

Posted on: July 1, 2023

Washington State Legislature Allocates Full $6.5M for Research & Development Center


Kelsey Nyland


Washington State Legislature Allocates Full $6.5 Million for Research & Development Center for Sustainable Aviation Fuels at Paine Field

Partnership with Washington State University Will Create the First Sustainable Aviation Fuel Repository in the World

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., April 27, 2023 – As part of the 2023-2025 Transportation Budget, the Washington State Legislature allocated $6.5 million for a Research & Development Center for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) at Snohomish County’s Paine Field Airport. Executive Dave Somers recently announced the plan for the Center, which is a partnership with Washington State University (WSU) and combined with other WSU assets will be the only facility to collect, sample, and distribute SAF at a scale needed for widespread use in planes, including the largest aircraft.

“Snohomish County is the global heart of cutting-edge commercial aerospace manufacturing, which has been an important economic driver of the county for over 50 years,” said Executive Somers. “With our history and resources, Snohomish County is the ideal place for businesses to invest in trailblazing climate change solutions. This Research and Development Center for Sustainable Aviation Fuels is a foundational component of our long-term commitment to generate new jobs in environmentally sustainable sectors and help decarbonize aviation. I’m grateful to the Legislature for this funding that will help make this vital project a reality.”

“The new Sustainable Aviation Fuel Research and Development Center marks the start of a new era for our region. Our community has long been a leader in the aviation space, but this is a new frontier. This center is not only a bold economic opportunity, it signifies our commitment to bold climate action,” said Sen. Marko Liias.

“This is such an important project, and a great opportunity for Snohomish County to lead the way to a sustainable future. I’m excited to have been able to help secure the funding and I am looking forward to staying involved as it progresses,” said Rep. Brandy Donaghy.

“It’s great to see Washington state continue to lead in aviation and the environment, supporting efforts to meet global challenges while complementing existing strengths,” said Dr. Joshua Heyne, a leading SAF expert, and director of the Bioproducts Science and Engineering Laboratory at WSU Tri-Cities. “WSU research at this Center and across the WSU System will continue to enable the inception of global policies and new technologies to benefit state agricultural and industrial activities from Pullman to Everett, and we’re proud to partner with Snohomish County, our state Legislature, and industry partners to once again meet a global need with local interests.”

Paine Field represents the ideal location for the R&D Center for SAF due to its proximity to the production of medium- and long-haul aircraft, defined as planes that seat at least 100 passengers and fly at least 150 minutes. These aircraft contribute approximately 73 percent of carbon emissions in aviation.

Anyone interested can find more information on the R&D Center for SAF on this website.

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