The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has launched a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) Clearing House to support the development of the fuel and remove barriers to the approval of new pathways. 

The “one-stop shop for fuel producers” will be implemented by environmental consultancy firm Ricardo and funded by the EU across a network of European and international testing facilities. 

EASA said it hoped to provide producers with everything they needed to comply with ASTM D4054 standard evaluation, the base that new SAF pathways are evaluated against, including pre-screening, report writing support, and partial funding for testing. 

Maria Rueda, EASA’s strategy and safety management director, said: “The demand for SAF will grow ever more to meet the goals set in the ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation and increasingly reduce the emissions from aviation. 

“Via the EU SAF Clearing House, EASA wants to ensure that the fuel industry gets the support needed to succeed in developing SAF for aviation, so their innovation efforts are not in vain and more SAF is brought to the market.” 

As highlighted by the agency, the EU’s ReFuelEU regulation introduced SAF mandates to the industry for the first time, requiring airlines operating within the union’s member countries to use 70% SAF in their fuel supplies by 2050. 

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Interim targets set out in the regulation will also require the industry to use 2% SAF in its fuel by 2025, a notable increase from the 0.05% SAF currently makes up of the total EU aviation fuel supply 

It’s this figure that is driving the establishment of the Clearing House, which will be supported by a range of partners including Trinity College Dublin, Intertek, Politecnico di Torino, ENVISA, and Spark Legal and Policy consulting. 

In addition to supporting fuel producers to gain approval for their SAF pathways, EASA said the Clearing House will assist companies assess the environmental impact of their fuel. 

EASA’s efforts continue a theme of collaboration on SAF in the industry and came shortly after the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced it would be launching an SAF Registry to improve the reporting of emissions reductions gained from using the fuel. 

The scheme also follows in the footsteps of the UK, which announced its own SAF Clearing House at the University of Sheffield in 2023, also implemented by Ricardo and officially launched in April 2024 with similar testing, qualification and development support. 

Due to the fluid nature of SAF production, which can use a wide range of feedstocks including cooking oils and municipal waste, it is vital that new pathways are approved by regulators to ensure their products can be safely used in blends with traditional jet fuel.