The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is targeting 1 billion passengers to fly on planes powered by a mix of jet and sustainable aviation fuels by 2025.
In a statement, IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said the “momentum for” sustainable aviation fuels “is now unstoppable.”
“From one flight in 2008, we passed the threshold of 100,000 flights in 2017, and we expect to hit 1 million flights [in]2020,” he added.
“But that is still just a drop in the ocean compared to what we want to achieve,” the IATA chief said.
Citing the Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 that took off from London to Amsterdam with sustainable aviation fuel in one
of its engines on February 24, 2008, de Juniac said “that won’t be easy to achieve.”
“We need governments to set a framework to incentivize production of sustainable aviation fuels and ensure it is attractive to produce as automotive biofuels,” he added.
The push to use more of these fuels is driven by the industry’s commitment to achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and cut net carbon emissions by 50 percent.
It is necessary to harmonize transport and energy policies, and coordinate with the agriculture and military departments, in order to reach its goal, IATA said.
Loan guarantees and capital grants for production facilities, as well as supporting demonstration plans and
supply-chain research and development on sustainable aviation fuels, are also included in the steps to take, it added.
“The airline industry is clear, united and adamant that we will never use a sustainable fuel that upsets the ecological balance of the planet or depletes its natural resources,” de Juniac said.
In response to IATA’s plan, the Philippine government called it “ambitious.”
“At this point, we do not have the facilities for hybrid fuel. This is true even in more advanced countries. It is an ambitious project for the sake of Mother Earth, which we fully support,” Transportation Undersecretary for Aviation Manuel Tamayo told The Manila Times in a text message.
“The Philippines has [volunteered]to take part in the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, and has submitted a state action plan to the International Civil Aviation Organization,” he added.