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Singapore Is Operationally Ready for Sustainable Aviation Fuel But More Is Needed to Support Adoption

Issue 20 - 2023
Singapore Is Operationally Ready for Sustainable Aviation Fuel But More Is Needed to Support Adoption

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), GenZero, and Singapore Airlines (SIA) have completed a 20-month Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) pilot, which commenced in February 2022, in partnership with Temasek1 . The SAF pilot supports one of the key recommendations of the International Advisory Panel (IAP) on Sustainable Air Hub2  to create a long-term secured SAF supply ecosystem for Singapore. The pilot found that while Singapore is operationally ready to supply SAF, more is needed to support adoption. CAAS will incorporate the lessons learnt in the development of the Singapore Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint.

There were three aspects to the SAF pilot:

First, operational readiness. The pilot validated the end-to-end process needed    to    bring SAF into Changi Airport, including procurement, blending of neat SAF with conventional jet fuel in Singapore facilities, safety certification and delivery of the blended SAF to Changi Airport. The pilot affirmed that SAF can be safely deployed to Changi Airport and uplifted onto flights without any modification to existing airport infrastructure.

Second, the generation of SAF credits. The generation of SAF credits for sale to corporates and air cargo companies looking to decarbonise their carbon footprint, is a way to crowd-in financing to share SAF’s higher costs. Under the pilot, SIA purchased 1,000 tonnes of neat SAF which generated 1,000 SAF credits, corresponding to approximately 2,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide reductions. These SAF credits were generated through a trusted industry standard, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) Book & Claim System3. The pilot validated that transactions in SAF credits could be conducted in a trusted and transparent manner which lays the foundation for a global marketplace for SAF credits.

Third, market readiness. About two-thirds of the 1,000 credits generated were sold during the pilot. The pilot validated market demand for SAF credits but also showed that more is needed for wide-scale SAF adoption, including through education, outreach and corporate and government policy support.  

Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General, CAAS, said, “SAF, which the International Air Transport Association estimates to account for 65% of the carbon emission reduction needed by aviation to reach net-zero in 2050, will be a key component in Singapore aviation’s decarbonisation efforts. CAAS is developing a structural offtake mechanism to support SAF adoption. This will take into account developments elsewhere in the world, including discussions at the upcoming third International Civil Aviation Organization Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels.”  

Ms Lee Wen Fen, Chief Sustainability Officer, Singapore Airlines, said, “SAF is a key decarbonisation lever for the SIA Group to achieve our net zero carbon emissions goal by 2050. This pilot has laid the foundation for a tangible pathway towards SAF adoption in Singapore. SIA will continue to collaborate closely with our partners to promote and scale up the adoption of SAF in Singapore.”

Mr Frederick Teo, CEO of GenZero, said, “SAF is widely acknowledged as a critical lever to decarbonise aviation. Ensuring that SAF can be operationally deployed in Singapore will help position Changi as both a regional and global sustainable aviation hub. The pilot is a demonstration of the community’s ability to mobilise the aviation ecosystem for the operationalisation, deployment and usage of SAF. Through this pilot, GenZero also worked with partners like Climate Impact X and the RSB to launch SAF credits. This allowed us to develop the methodology and processes needed to test the extent to which corporates were willing to offset their travel emissions. It provided useful insights on how we can crowd in additional carbon financing to offset the price premium and support the adoption of SAF.”

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