Home/ News / India/  Indian airlines to get a sustainable aviation fuel roadmap

The ministry of civil aviation and the ministry of petroleum and natural gas are working on issuing a roadmap for sustainable aviation fuel over the next few months, officials in the know of the matter said. This would further lay the framework for lowering carbon emissions by the aviation industry.

As per The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), sustainable aviation fuel is any fuel that has the potential to generate lower carbon emissions than conventional kerosene on a life cycle basis.

The concept of sustainable aviation fuel among Indian airlines is still at a nascent stage. So far, there have been a handful of demonstration flights on blended fuel for lower carbon emissions. In Aug 2018, SpiceJet operated the first such flight which operated on a blend of 75 per cent aviation turbine fuel and 25 per cent biojet fuel made from jatropha plant.

IndiGo had also taken delivery of an aircraft which ran on sustainable aviation fuel in Feb 2022. In Dec 2021, the airline signed an agreement with Dehradun-based Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIRIIP) to manufacture and deploy sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) globally.

“India is expected to be a party to CORSIA from 2027 onwards. This would mean that Indian airlines will be mandated to follow some protocol when it comes to carbon emissions, this may also include a mandate to operate on a minimum percentage of sustainable aviation fuel. Of course, this will depend on how prepared the local infrastructure is to address the demand and how sustainable the demand is," a person with knowledge of the matter said.

In 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted a global market-based mechanism, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), to address CO2 emissions from international aviation.

CORSIA aims to stabilize international civil aviation net CO2 emissions using offsetting programs. Offsetting is an action by a company or individual to compensate for their emissions by financing a reduction in emissions elsewhere.

Under this, from 2021 until 2026, only flights between states that volunteer to participate will be subject to offsetting requirements. The countries that have volunteered cover about 77% of all international aviation activity. From 2027, virtually all international flights will be subject to mandatory offsetting requirements, representing more than 90% of all international aviation activity. Until September 2021,107 States have volunteered to join CORSIA for 2022.

“We expect some announcement as well as clarity from India on CORSIA target after the upcoming ICAO meeting," another person in the know of the matter said. Aviation accounts for around 2-3% of global CO2 emissions.

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Updated: 16 Sep 2022, 08:40 PM IST
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