Heathrow Airport Reiterates Call For SAF Mandates

Credit: Neste

AMSTERDAM—Heathrow Airport CFO Javier Echave has reiterated calls for the UK government to set escalating mandates for the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Speaking at the GAD World conference in Amsterdam, Echave said setting requirements would create a “pipeline of consumption” that would help to attract private investment. The appeal came as world leaders prepare to gather for the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.

Heathrow has previously called for escalating mandates requiring airlines to use a minimum of 10% SAF by 2030, increasing to at least 50% by 2050. 

The airport has suggested the introduction of a price-support mechanism, such as contracts for difference, and loan guarantees as part of the mandate. “It is not acceptable that SAFs are six times more expensive than kerosene,” Echave said.

He also outlined how Heathrow was working to decarbonize its own operations. “We are proud to say that we became one of the first airports in the world to become carbon neutral in 2020,” Echave said. “But our commitment is to reduce our carbon footprint on the ground by 45% by 2030.”

Earlier this year, the airport published a revised sustainability strategy called “Heathrow 2.0: Connecting People and Planet.” Key actions include changes to surface access for passengers and staff; shifting airport vehicles to zero emissions; and leveraging its procurement role to achieve a net zero supply chain.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.