Heathrow urges for a SAF mandate at COP26 to reduce aviation emissions
With the easing of testing requirements and red-list countries increasing passenger travel numbers, Heathrow Airport urges for the UK government to show leadership in decarbonising aviation at COP26.
Credit: Heathrow Airport
Passenger numbers at Heathrow Airport (LHR) remained at just under 40 per cent of pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels in September, whilst EU rivals enjoyed stronger resurgence over summer. North American traffic is only 25 per cent of 2019 levels. Cargo, which is carried in the hold of passenger planes, was close to eight per cent down by volume on 2019, reflecting the way in which travel restrictions have been damaging UK exports and supply chains.
The airport welcomes the easing of testing requirements and red-list reduction, which will make international travel simpler, cheaper, and less stressful for all passengers. The removal of PCR tests for vaccinated travellers in October 2021 and the opening up of the U.S. should mean that passengers can book with confidence for half term and Christmas travel and put Heathrow on track for recovery.
The IATA has made a global commitment to net zero aviation by 2050, which is a key milestone to securing a global agreement at ICAO in September 2022. Heathrow Airport urges the UK government to show leadership by putting the policies in place to scale up the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) in the UK – a progressively increasing mandate, a price support mechanism (such as contracts for difference), and loan guarantees.
John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow said: “We should aim for 2019 to have been the peak year for fossil fuel use in global aviation. The UK government can show real leadership in decarbonising aviation at COP26, by setting a progressively increasing mandate and a plan to use contracts for difference to accelerate the transition to Sustainable Aviation Fuel in the UK, which will protect the benefits of flying for future generations.”
Air freight and cargo, Air traffic control/management (ATC/ATM), Airside operations, Capacity, COVID-19, Emissions, Passenger experience and seamless travel, Passenger volumes, Sustainability, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), Sustainable development