Policymakers and industry stakeholders meet to discuss setting up sustainable aviation fuel industry in Southeast Asia
Fri 13 Sept 2013 – Representatives from the aviation and biofuel sectors, together with policymakers, regulators, NGOs and other stakeholders, met in Bangkok today to address the opportunities and challenges of developing a successful sustainable aviation biofuels industry in Southeast Asia. With air travel in the region set to grow at 6.8 per cent per annum over the next 20 years, there is likely to be a huge demand for such fuels. Hosted by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), in partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG), the aim of the South-East Asia Sustainable Aviation Fuel Initiative (SEASAFI) Workshop on Aviation Biofuel and Sustainable Agriculture was to raise awareness in the region. In Indonesia, meanwhile, the government has instructed all airlines to achieve a target of 2 per cent biofuel use by 2015 and 3 per cent use by 2018-2020.
“The introduction of newer, more fuel efficient aircraft, fuel conservation programmes and improved airspace management all contribute towards reducing aviation’s environmental impact. However, sustainable aviation fuels have the potential to deliver further significant reductions in the sector’s long-term carbon footprint,” said AAPA Technical Director Martin Eran-Tasker in his opening remarks to the workshop.
“The aviation industry is keen to work with key ASEAN decision-makers to provide the necessary policy framework to support the development of competitive and sustainable aviation fuels. At the same time as reducing aviation’s environmental impact, the growth of feedstocks for sustainable aviation fuels will open up rural socio-economic development opportunities across the region.”
Key outcomes of the workshop, said AAPA, would be to broaden stakeholder involvement to address the key opportunities, challenges and opportunities across the value chain and actively support the development of a SEASAFI roadmap.
The roadmap would target key stakeholder groups and provide recommended actions on
priority commercialisation initiatives;
promising regional feedstocks and technologies;
priority research and development efforts;
supply chain gaps and barriers to be removed; and
best practices for de-risking investment.
Among the key topics addressed at the workshop were the drivers for sustainable aviation fuel in the ASEAN region, with presentations from Boeing and Airbus, and identifying the regional potential of the most promising technology pathways and feedstocks. Also on the agenda was discussion on sustainability issues, and how to minimise negative impacts and maximise benefits to rural communities, as well as how governments could support the development of biofuel supply chains.
“We are privileged to be working with our Southeast Asian partners to determine how best we can contribute to a sustainable aviation sector in the region,” said Frédéric Eychenne, Airbus New Energies Programme Manager, who took part in the workshop.
Another panellist was Skip Boyce, President of Boeing Southeast Asia. “Southeast Asia is one of the world’s fastest-growing regions for commercial aviation and has great potential to develop a sustainable aviation biofuel industry.”
Meanwhile, Garuda Indonesia has announced it will be using biofuels by 2015, in accordance with an instruction from the country’s Ministry of Transport and its Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) that all airlines must achieve a 2% use by 2015 and 3% by 2018-2020. According to a report in Orient Aviation magazine, this would make Indonesia the first country to mandate the use of aviation biofuels by specific dates.
The DGCA has set up a task force to oversee a government roadmap, the Indonesia Green Aviation Initiative, to introduce wide-ranging environmental measures across the country’s air transport sector.