Heathrow pushes for SAF mandate

Posted on 19 October, 2021 by Advance 

Heathrow has stated that it is delighted IATA has made a global commitment to net zero aviation by 2050 - which is a key milestone to securing a global agreement at ICAO in September 2022 - but wants to see the UK Government help enable the country to significantly increase its sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production.

Image courtesy Heathrow

Heathrow recently urged the UK Government to show leadership by putting the policies in place to scale up the production of sustainable aviation fuels in the UK – a progressively increasing mandate, a price support mechanism (such as contracts for difference) and loan guarantees.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye said: “We should aim for 2019 to have been the peak year for fossil fuel use in global aviation.

"The UK Government can show real leadership in decarbonising aviation at COP26, by setting a progressively increasing mandate and a plan to use contracts for difference to accelerate the transition to Sustainable Aviation Fuel in the UK, which will protect the benefits of flying for future generations.”

Heathrow's passenger numbers remained at just under 40% of pre-pandemic levels in September, whilst EU rivals enjoyed stronger resurgence over summer.

North American traffic is only 25% of 2019 levels. Cargo, which is carried in the hold of passenger planes, was close to 8% down by volume on 2019, reflecting the way in which travel restrictions have been damaging UK exports and supply chains.

Heathrow has welcomed the easing of testing requirements and red-list reduction, which will make international travel simpler, cheaper and less stressful for all passengers. The removal of PCR tests for vaccinated travellers in October and the opening up in the US should mean that passengers can book with confidence for Half Term and Christmas travel and contribute to aviation's recovery.