Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Civil Aviation Ministry Teams Up With Petroleum Ministry To Boost Sustainable Aviation

By Staff Correspondent

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) have joined forces to develop guidelines that will promote sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) among Indian carriers. The plan is to encourage the blending of SAF with traditional aviation turbine fuel (ATF), aligning with India’s Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) program for the road transport sector. By 2030, the EBP program aims to incorporate 20% ethanol in petroleum. Currently, India has achieved a 10% blending rate of ethanol in petroleum, and introducing 5% SAF in ATF will require around 0.7 million tonnes of capacity, while the country has a capacity to produce 12 million tonnes.

However, India faces significant challenges in SAF production and transportation logistics to the aircraft’s bowser for refuelling. Depending on the production method, SAF can cost up to ten times more than traditional jet fuel, making the search for a solution critical. To address these challenges, a committee has been established.

As the world targets net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050, airlines see SAF as a crucial element in their efforts. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 65% of the decarbonisation target can be met through SAF, requiring a production capacity of 450 billion litres by that year. Leading Indian carriers, including IndiGo and Air India, have signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP) in Dehradun for SAF research, development, and deployment.

Civil aviation minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia is also monitoring the carbon mapping of the country’s airport assets to achieve a carbon-neutral aviation sector. According to Scindia, 11 private sector airports and almost 96 airports of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will be entirely carbon-neutral by the second quarter of 2025. Several Indian airports have already received accreditation from the Airport Council International (ACI), including Delhi and Mumbai airports, which have level 4+ accreditation. Meanwhile, Bengaluru and Hyderabad have level 3+ accreditation, and Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, and Varanasi have level 2 accreditation in the Asia Pacific and Middle East region.

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