In a context where environmental preservation is at the heart of concerns, business aviation is facing new challenges. Companies are seeking to reduce their carbon footprint, and business aviation airports must follow suit by offering sustainable infrastructure. Access to and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in business airports represents an innovative solution to address these challenges. An entire industry is working hand in hand to create synergies in favor of the environment. Thus, airlines and airport managers are increasingly advocating for the increased use of SAF. AEROAFFAIRES explains why the use of SAF is growing in business airports.
Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF): The ecological transition solution for business airports.
What is SAF?
SAF stands for “Sustainable Aviation Fuel“, which is a type of aviation fuel made from renewable sources and considered more sustainable and environmentally friendly than traditional aviation fuels such as kerosene. The purpose of using SAF is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts of the aviation industry.
Why is the use of SAF increasing in business airports, and what is driving this growth?
The aviation industry has a vested interest in investing in SAF, the green fuel of tomorrow. AEROAFFAIRES explains why.
SAF has several advantages for the global aviation industry. The use of sustainable fuel allows for:
- Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions: Aviation is considered one of the sectors with the highest greenhouse gas emissions. SAF can help reduce emissions by using renewable sources to produce fuel.
- Environmental sustainability: SAF can help reduce the environmental impacts of aviation, such as air, water, and soil contamination.
- Energy independence: The use of SAF can reduce the aviation industry’s dependence on unreliable and expensive fuel sources by using local sources of renewable products.
- Positive brand image: At a time when air travel is being criticized, airlines have a big challenge to improve their brand image. By using SAF, business aviation companies can improve their brand image by showing their commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.
- Regulatory compliance: Some international regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, such as the UN Clean Development Mechanism, encourage the use of SAF to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in aviation. The goal is to achieve zero CO² emissions by 2050, according to ICAO.
What are the main business airports that have adopted SAF?
There are several business airports that use Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to power private aviation flights. These airports have recognized the importance of embracing the ecological transition.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO):
SFO is a leader in sustainability. It was the world’s first airport to offer SAF to airlines. The airport is striving to further reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by using SAF. This business airport works with airlines to optimize flight paths to reduce environmental impact. San Francisco airport benefits from the SAF negotiated in the agreement between Ametis and the oneworld alliance in 2021. This agreement ensures the delivery of 1.3 million tonnes of SAF exclusively for San Francisco airport.
London Heathrow Airport:
Heathrow is another business airport that uses SAF to power airplanes. The airport works closely with airlines to encourage the use of SAF to minimize their environmental impact.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport:
Schiphol is one of the first business airports in Europe to adopt SAF for business flights. The airport has also implemented other sustainable initiatives to minimize its environmental impact.
Paris Le Bourget:
Today, Paris Le Bourget business airport is the only one that offers the use of SAF to airlines. This airport benefits from two biofuel pumps made available to airlines.
Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport:
Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport started using SAF for business flights in 2020 as part of its efforts to achieve sustainability goals.
Frankfurt Airport uses SAF for business flights to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimize its environmental impact.
Airports that host business aviation are capable of adapting. The growing use of SAF is a great demonstration of this. The involvement of this major player in the civil aviation sector leads us to believe in a more sustainable and eco-responsible future supported by the entire aviation industry.
Is Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) a real driver for the future growth of business aviation?
Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) has strong potential to become a key element in the future of business aviation. Here are some reasons why:
- Reduced emissions: SAF can reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional fuels by up to 88%. This can contribute to achieving sustainability goals for businesses, governments, and environmentally-conscious passengers.
- Growing SAF production: SAF production is rapidly growing, and global airports should benefit from improved availability and long-term cost reductions.
- Increasing environmental regulations: Environmental regulations are becoming stricter, promoting and encouraging business airports and airlines to adopt SAF. There is a real transition towards greening the aviation sector, which has been a victim of “jet bashing.” For example, the European ReFuelEu regulation mandates the use of SAF up to 2% in 2025 and 63% in 2050.
- Financial incentives: Many governments offer financial assistance to encourage the use of sustainable fuels, aimed at accelerating the adoption of SAF in business aviation.
What are the challenges to democratizing SAF in business airports?
There are several challenges to the development of SAF in the business aviation sector, including:
- High cost: The cost of SAF is currently higher than traditional kerosene, which is a real challenge for business airlines looking to reduce costs.
- Limited availability: SAF production is currently limited, and access and availability of SAF is not easy for business airlines, particularly for large quantities of fuel.
- Insufficient infrastructure: It can be difficult for business airports to establish the necessary infrastructure to store and distribute SAF.
- Storage and handling: Storage and handling of sustainable fuel may require additional facilities and equipment to ensure fuel quality and safety, resulting in additional costs. Companies like TotalEnergie are actively working towards the decarbonization of fuels in close collaboration with the aviation sector. For example, TotalEnergie is rehabilitating a former refinery to allow for the production and storage of 210,000 tons of SAF.
- Regulatory uncertainty: There is still uncertainty about future regulations concerning the use of SAF, which may discourage airlines from adopting it.
- Technology still in development: The technology for SAF is still in development, and this is why airlines are cautious and vigilant about its use.
AEROAFFAIRES encourages and supports the use of SAF.
AEROAFFAIRES aims to be a pioneer in the ecological transition and SAF is a symbol of this. When you book a private or business flight with AEROAFFAIRES, you can board a “green-friendly” aircraft that uses SAF as fuel.
Our Sky CO² program also allows our customers to offset the CO² emissions of their flight by purchasing carbon credits that contribute to a forest conservation project.
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