ASCENT – the Aviation Sustainability Center – is a cooperative aviation research organization co-led by Washington State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Also known as the Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and Environment, ASCENT is funded by the FAA, NASA, the Department of Defense, Transport Canada, and the Environmental Protection Agency. ASCENT works to create science-based solutions for the aviation industry’s biggest challenges. A coalition of 16 leading US research universities and over 60 private sector stakeholders committed to reducing the environmental impact of aviation, ASCENT also works in partnership with international research programs, federal agencies and national laboratories to create an all-inclusive research capability for whatever environmental impact obstacle the aviation industry faces.

Our Mission

The Aviation Sustainability Center is

  • Focusing on meeting the environmental and energy goals of the Next Generation Air Transportation system, including reducing noise, improving air quality, reducing climate impacts, and energy efficiency.
  • Exploring ways to produce sustainable aviation fuels at commercial scale, creating an industry with the potential for large-scale economic development and job creation.
  • Discovering science-based solutions will benefit the aviation industry and improve the health and quality of life of those living and working around airports.



The 2024 FAA Data Challenge

Analytics Powering Airspace Evolution Challenge Page The 2024 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Data Challenge ushers in a groundbreaking opportunity for university students to identify challenges and present solutions toward the evolution of the National Airspace System (NAS) into a more information-centric entity. By harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and advanced analytics, participants are invited […]

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Samya Rose Stumo National Air Grant Fellowship

The FAA Samya Rose Stumo National Air Grant Fellowship (NAGF) program offers an opportunity for graduate students to gain experience in how aviation legislation and policy are developed in Congress. For more information, download the .pdf flyer or visit the FAA site.

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Impact of Proposed Sustainable Skies Act on Sustainable Aviation Fuel Minimum Selling Price

ASCENT project 1 has built a set of decision support tools to inform development of the SAF production to reach national and international greenhouse gas reduction goals. One of these tools is a set of harmonized techno-economic analyses (TEAs) for the certified SAF pathways. Recently, these TEA tools were used to assess possible scenarios for […]

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