Business Aviation Industry Groups Aim to Speed Adoption of SAF

EBAA and GAMA are promoting a joint initiative to boost the use of sustainable aviation fuel in Europe beyond regulatory requirements.

Business aviation companies are pushing for faster SAF adoption, [Courtesy: iStock]

The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) have agreed to work together to boost the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the European business aviation market.

The groups said their joint initiative aims to encourage aircraft operators to use a stepped approach while incrementally increasing SAF use at a higher rate than mandated under existing regulations such as the ReFuelEU aviation initiative.

The plan outlines “ambitious yet achievable targets,” GAMA and EBAA said, starting with a goal of 5 percent SAF usage by 2025. Subsequent goals include increases in SAF use to 20 percent by 2030, 60 percent by 2040, 80 percent by 2045, and 100 percent SAF adoption by 2050. 

In recognition of SAF’s limited availability in certain parts of the world, GAMA and EBAA are promoting a system of “book and claim” that would allow operators to purchase credits when the fuel is not available. Under this system, they could claim benefits of SAF when aircraft in other regions are using it.

"This initiative is a testament to our industry's dedication to sustainability,” said EBAA secretary general Holger Krahmer. “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."

The EBAA and GAMA said their initiative arrives as pressure increases for the aviation industry to reduce its carbon footprint. Establishing goals beyond the minimum regulatory requirements reflects the industry groups’ commitment to net-zero operations.

"With SAF playing a key role in decarbonizing business aviation, it is vital that we work with authorities and legislators to incentivize and strengthen efforts to develop, deploy, and increase overall usage of SAF,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “This initiative further demonstrates the industry’s commitment to achieving our sustainability goals.”

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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