European Union to prioritise sustainable aviation fuel

Geneva, 18 January 2018 – The aviation industry today welcomed a move by the European Parliament to ensure that sustainable aviation fuel is a key component of the future of air transport. The European Parliament this week adopted its position on the revision of the EU Renewable Energy Directive (REDII). This includes an increased focus on advanced biofuels for aviation and calls for any biofuel supplied to aviation to count twice towards reaching the EU target for renewable energy use across the region.

Michael Gill, Executive Director of the cross-industry Air Transport Action Group welcomed the European Parliament decision. “Sustainable aviation fuel will play a vital role to help air transport meet our long-term goal of halving net CO2 emissions by 2050. Until now, aviation in Europe has not been able to fully benefit from investment in this new energy source. Not only does this proposal from the Parliament ensure that sustainable aviation fuels are part of the renewable transport energy mix of the future, it actually identifies aviation as a priority for deployment. We thank the Parliament and urge member states to support this proposal in the final negotiations as well as to increase their support for sustainable aviation fuel rollout.”

“Industry has already committed many millions of dollars and significant resources to help kick-start the commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuel and the momentum is gathering pace. We have been asking for policy support from governments to ensure that aviation, with no near-term replacement to liquid fuels available, is prioritised over other forms of transport which can more simply shift to electric or other forms of propulsion.”

Over 100,000 commercial flights have already taken place using some blend of sustainable aviation fuel and it is in regular use from four international airports, with a number of others starting to provide the fuels in the coming year. Airlines have committed to purchase over 1.5 billion gallons of the fuel and further announcements on offtake agreements are expected soon.


  • European Union Renewable Energy Directive adopted by European Parliament on 17 January 2018:
  • The Air Transport Action Group represents the entire aviation sector: airlines, airports, air traffic management organisations and the makers of aircraft and engines. It coordinates common industry positions on the sustainable future of air transport.