Days ahead of the opening of the Paris Air Show, the Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) of seven major aerospace manufacturers have published a joint manifesto calling on governments and industry to accelerate the production and supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
In the statement, the CTOs of Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, GE Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and Safran come out in support of the 2050 net zero objective. While the text vaguely alludes to work in new propulsion technologies, it places the focus on SAF as the key technology that would make the attainment of this goal possible.
The CTOs make also clear they support policies that are designed to facilitate the growth of the SAF industry, such as those contained in the US Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) or the EU’s ReFuelEU Aviation initiative.
At the same time, they express concern that at the moment SAF production barely covers 0.1% of global jet fuel demand and that is at a considerable higher cost per liter.
In this regard, the document highlights as well the role that Public-Private Partnerships can play in stimulating the expansion of SAF production and uptake as well as in securing the necessary infrastructure investments for a quicker SAF rollout.
Regular predictable demand and a regulatory framework that enables potentially larger volumes of SAF uptake (at the moment most aircraft engines are certified to use maximum 50% SAF blends) are also identified as preconditions for a faster decarbonization of aviation.
This public statement reflects the increasingly central role that sustainability is taking in the aviation industry and appears just hours after one of the leading electric aircraft development programs announced its suspension in view of the technical obstacles it had been encountering.
All major OEMs and engine makers are expected to use the upcoming Paris Air Show as a platform to showcase their work in the field of sustainable flight.