100% SAF: Aviation Takes a Giant Leap towards Greener Skies
The world’s first historic transatlantic flight that was completely powered using SAF, has landed in the US. The airline in question was Virgin Atlantic, which departed from Heathrow in London and arrived at JFK in New York. This is a significant milestone in efforts to make clean skies a reality in the aviation industry.
One type of SAF was utilized for the flight sponsored by the government, and it represented 88% of the fuel made up from waste fats and the remaining fraction of the biomass-derived aviation biofuel produced in USA. Although the industry looks at SAF as a solution for reducing emissions, some challenges exist, for instance, scarcity of SAF and SAF costs more than traditional jet fuel.
In spite of these difficulties, the aviation sector will focus on developing and implementing SAF as a crucial measure towards net zero emissions by 2050. As part of its strategy, the UK government has mandated that 10% of aviation fuel shall be SAF by 2030, which will subsequently push airlines towards increasing use of SAF. The UK's Department for Transport (DfT) has also announced an investment of £53 million ($65.6 million) in the country's sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry. The department has estimated that the investment will help airlines save up to 2.7 million tonnes (2.9 million tons) of annual carbon emissions.
According to the DfT, "It can also help achieve greenhouse gas emissions savings of more than 70% compared to conventional fossil jet fuel." It also added that this announcement is a "milestone marker ahead of the world's first transatlantic flight using 100% SAF" on November 28, 2023.
Brookfield believes that the use of 100% SAF for successful transatlantic flight marks the beginning of the road to green flying and although it is not yet enough, this milestone indicates that we can achieve greener flights for the future of the aviation industry.