Heathrow CEO urges swifter SAF transition as COP26 nears

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Heathrow Airport is urging the UK government to show leadership in decarbonising aviation at COP26.
Passenger numbers at Heathrow Airport remained at just under 40% of pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels in September, while EU rivals enjoyed stronger resurgence over summer.
North American traffic is only 25% 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.
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 is now calling on 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 SAF the UK, which will protect the benefits of flying for future generations.”
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