Sustainable aviation fuels


    Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is a type of aviation fuel used in jet aircraft and certified as sustainable by independent entities such as RSB
    In recent years, environmental challenges have become one of the most relevant points for the aviation sector, both globally and locally. Mitigating the environmental and adverse impacts of air transport activities is one of the five strategic objectives of ICAO, in line with the practices and policies of the United Nations system.
    In addition to this, we have ICAO’s vision on sustainable aviation fuels by 2050, adopted at CAAF/2, which recognises the essential role and role of States in promoting the industrial development of sustainable aviation fuels.

Reference regulations

    Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (RED II): In November 2016, the European Commission published its “Clean Energy for all Europeans” initiative. As part of this package, the Commission adopted a legislative proposal to update the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). In the context of the codecision procedure, a final compromise text between the EU institutions was agreed in June 2018. The revised Renewable Energy Directive (EU) 2018/2001 entered into force in December 2018.
    The directive provides for Member States to require fuel suppliers to supply at least 14 % of the energy consumed in the transport sector by 2030 in the form of renewable energy.
    ICAO Balanced Compromise Approach (ICAOs Balanced Compromise Approach) In February 2019, Spain submitted a document at ICAO CAEP indicating the intention to set a sustainable aviation fuel supply target (SAF) by 2025. The final obligation will be established after analysing the technical and economic feasibility with the interested parties. This dialogue with the stakeholders involved and the assurance after approval of industry involvement was presented as the “Equilibrated Commitment” and was recognised in this format by the CAEP.
    Draft Climate Change Law: In 2019, the Government of Spain proposed a preliminary draft law for a new legislative framework to facilitate and guide the decarbonisation of the Spanish economy by 2050, as set out by the EU and the commitment made by signing the Paris Agreement.
    draft law includes Article 11(1
    (1st draft lawccyte_tcm30-487336.pdf) which details the obligation to supply sustainable aviation fuel to aviation operators by 2025, as part of the implementation of the EU Renewable Energy Directive 2018/2001.
     Integrated National Energy and Climate
    Plan (PNIEC) 2021-2030
    : The framework for energy and climate policy in Spain is determined by the European Union (EU), which, in turn, is conditioned by a global context in which the Paris Agreement reached in 2015 stands out.
    In addition, the European Commission updated on 28 November 2018 its roadmap towards a systematic decarbonisation of the economy with the intention of turning the European Union into CO2 emissions neutral by 2050.
    The Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030, It is a document to be submitted to the European Commission for evaluation during 2019. Identifies challenges and opportunities throughout the five dimensions of the Energy Union: decarbonisation, including renewable energy; energy efficiency; energy security; the internal energy market and research, innovation and competitiveness.
    More specifically, Measure 1.6 on ‘Advanced Biofuels in Transport’ has an impact on the fact that one of the policy mechanisms in this area will be the ‘specific establishment of biofuels in aviation’

    Declaration of the Second ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/2): During the ICAO Council meeting in March 2018, the Declaration of the Second ICAO Conference on Alternative Aviation Fuels (CAAF/2), including ICAO’s 2050 vision on sustainable aviation fuels, was adopted.

Main projects

    Spanish Bioqueroseno Initiative: The Bioqueroseno Initiative was formalised on 27 October 2011, with the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism (through IDAE), the Ministry of Development (through EASA), the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment (MAGRAMA), SENASA and various companies related to the production of raw materials, refining technologies, aeronautical logistics and sustainability processes. 
    This initiative was structured as a platform for meeting the various actors involved in it, i.e. it was intended to act as a bridge for the exchange of information, identification of needs and areas of action between the public sector involved and the private actors that collaborated in it.
    That is the framework within which the dialogue for “balanced engagement” with stakeholders is currently taking place.
    Agreement: Spain — Mexico:  Spain and Mexico signed in 2010 a Framework Convention on Civil Aviation, Air Transport, Safety and Sustainability.
    Within the framework of this agreement, the first sustainable aviation fuel flight was made in Mexico in 2011, powered by Interjet.
    Agreement: Spain — Italy:  The Spanish and Italian national authorities, the Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea (AESA) and the Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile (ENAC) together with the Agency Services and Studies for Air Navigation and Aeronautical Safety (SENASA) signed on 24 July 2011 a memorandum of understanding to develop joint initiatives to support the sustainable use and production of new sustainable fuels for aviation.
    Agreement: Spain — United States (USA): On 11 February 2013, Spain and the United States signed a cooperation agreement on the development of biofuels for aviation. The event was chaired by the then Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing, Rafael Catalá, and the US Deputy Minister of Transport, John Porcari. This agreement, signed by the Director of the State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA), Isabel Maestre, and the Executive Director of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Carey J. Fagan, reinforces the programs undertaken by both countries with industries and institutions for the development of alternative fuels to jet-A1 kerosene.


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