MEPs approved a new law in September to increase the uptake of sustainable fuels, such as advanced biofuels or hydrogen, in the aviation sector.

The RefuelEU aviation rules are part of the “Fit for 55 package”, the EU’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and to ensure the EU becomes climate neutral by 2050. They seek to encourage the aviation sector to use sustainable aviation fuels in order to cut emissions.

Biobased aviation fuel reduces the number of ultrafine particles that are emitted from the aircraft engines, thereby improving air quality. This is one of the conclusions drawn from a large-scale international study using a SAS aircraft at Copenhagen Airport.

Researchers measured an aircraft with 34% SAF in the tank while it was taxiing between the runway and the gate at the airport. Ground measurements show a reduction in the emission of ultrafine particles by about 30 percent. The measurements were conducted by researchers from DLR, The German Aerospace Center.

Farnborough Airport in the UK has announced the sale of its millionth litre of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Having begun to offer SAF to all its customers in 2021, Farnborough Airport has become one of the largest single-site suppliers of SAF to the business aviation community in the UK. It also became the first airport in the world to offer SAF at the same price as its standard Jet A1 fuel during the lead up to the 2022 Farnborough International Airshow.

DfT announced on 4 September 2023 that it is committed to introducing a revenue certainty mechanism to support SAF production in the UK and boost its uptake, giving producers greater assurance about earnings from the SAF they produce.

DfT will launch a consultation on the design and delivery of the scheme to bolster the development of SAF and drive further investment. The revenue certainty scheme, which is intended to be funded by industry, will give the aviation sector the launchpad to confidently invest in SAF and transition away from fossil fuel reliance.

A new £1.5bn Teesside plant that will convert up to one million tonnes of household waste into jet fuel each year is planned to be operational in 2028.

This news article covers the agreement between the Parliament and Council in a bid to decarbonise the aviation sector.

The proposal aims to increase both demand for and supply of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), while ensuring a level playing field across the EU air transport market. Key elements and the main amendments to the Commission's proposal for SAF are also included. 

It is a major proposal which aims to put air transport on the trajectory of the EU’s climate targets for 2030 and 2050, as SAF are one of the key short- and medium-term tools for decarbonising aviation.