Bizav Trade Groups Recommend SAF Scale-Up In Europe

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Business aircraft operators in Europe should progressively increase their use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to 100% adoption by 2050 and support its production by purchasing credits where the fuel is not currently available, trade organizations representing the sector announced Feb. 1.

Operators should step up their use of SAF to 5% of their annual fuel load by 2025, 20% by 2030, 40% by 2035, 60% by 2040, and 80% by 2045 before reaching the target of 100% adoption, the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) said in a joint set of recommendations.

Recognizing that sustainably sourced jet fuel is only available at a limited number of airports in Europe and elsewhere, the organizations call for the implementation of a “robust and reliable” book-and-claim system that allows operators to purchase the attributes of SAF where it is not physically present. Through book-and-claim, an operator can “book” a specific quantity of SAF from a fixed-base operator where the fuel is available, pay the premium, and claim an emissions-reduction credit.

SAF adoption targets for business aviation in Europe. Credit: EBAA and GAMA

The international community endorsed the use of the book-and-claim mechanism to stimulate SAF demand last November at the third International Civil Aviation Organization Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels.

Targets for SAF adoption in the EBAA and GAMA “Sustainable Aviation Fuel Recommendations for Business Aviation Across Europe” document exceed those of current mandates, such as ReFuelEU Aviation. The European Union regulation requires fuel suppliers to distribute a progressively higher minimum proportion of SAF to major European airports, ramping up from 2% in 2025 to 70% in 2050.

“This initiative is a testament to our industry’s dedication to sustainability,” said Holger Krahmer, EBAA secretary general. “We are not just meeting regulatory requirements; we are setting higher standards for ourselves and leading by example. It’s crucial that we support the development and distribution of SAF, and the “book-and-claim” system is a crucial tool allowing for an accelerated uptake of sustainable fuels.”

Aviation industry adoption targets notwithstanding, the onus is on fuel producers to match SAF supply with increasing demand. The current, maximum potential SAF production capacity in the EU would provide only 10% of the amount of fuel required under the ReFuelEU mandate by 2030, EASA estimates.

“While our sector stands ready to deliver on its commitments, it has become clear that a drastic increase in SAF production and availability is urgently needed to enable us to do so,” the EBAA and GAMA say. They call on authorities at the European and national levels “to use the regulatory and non-regulatory tools at their disposal to facilitate a rapid and sustained rollout of SAF to the European market.”

The trade groups said they will actively work with airports in Europe to facilitate the provision of SAF to business aviation aircraft where it is available. They list the following airports: Paris Le Bourget, Nice Cote d’Azur, London Luton, Farnborough, London Biggin Hill, Geneva Cointrin, Zurich, Madrid Barajas, Munich, Berlin Schonefeld, Milan Linate, Rome Ciampino and Vienna Schwechat.

Bill Carey

Bill covers business aviation and advanced air mobility for Aviation Week Network. A former newspaper reporter, he has also covered the airline industry, military aviation, commercial space and unmanned aircraft systems. He is the author of 'Enter The Drones, The FAA and UAVs in America,' published in 2016.