Cirrus making efforts to create a more sustainable aviation industry

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Industries across the board are making efforts to become more sustainable and lower their carbon footprint. Aviation is no different.

Zean Nielsen, CEO of Cirrus Aircraft, told us that they are making small improvements all of the time.

But long term, it’s about taking the lead out of the fuel.

About 25 years ago, the auto industry was able to use lead-free fuels.

The aviation industry has the same goal, although it’s going to take innovation and invention to get there.

Nielsen said, “You have to create a drop-in replacement fuel. It has to have the same performance, but without the lead. That fuel doesn’t exist today, somebody has to invent the fuel.”

Cirrus is testing some of the replacements. The company has partnered with the General Aviation Manufacturers Association in support of the Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emissions (EAGLE) coalition.

They’ll also be focused on cutting edge investments like this in their new Innovation Center. The plan, according to Nielsen, is to start moving employees into the space by the end of March.

Supply chain issues remain a challenge. So is a bigger workforce.

“We need as a community to bring more people to Duluth, and find more solutions for housing, more solutions for school and day care, and the trailing spouse,” Nielsen said.

They’ve hired over 850 people in the past couple of years.

“We wouldn’t do that unless we believe in a bright future. The order book is here, and we are scaling the facilities as fast as we can in a responsible manner,” Nielsen.

Here’s part one of the 2023 outlook: