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June 4, 2021

Heathrow Airport to incorporate renewable aviation fuel

This integration of SAF into Heathrow Airport's operation will help show a proof of concept (PoC) at the airport.

The UK’s Heathrow Airport (LHR), in collaboration with Vitol Aviation and Neste, has integrated sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) into its operation.

Following this development, the airport is said to have become the first UK major airport to incorporate SAF into its fuel supply.

Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel will now be included as Heathrow’s main fuel supply and blended to use across flights running at its premises.

The fuel supply will be less, equivalent to fuelling five to ten short-haul flights.

However, this small-scale commercial distribution will help in demonstrating a proof of concept (PoC) at the airport.

LHR CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “We are delighted that Heathrow is the first UK major airport to successfully incorporate sustainable aviation fuels into its operation. As we get ready to welcome the world to the G7, we can demonstrate how this technology can significantly cut carbon from aviation, whilst protecting its benefits.”

Under this project, Neste’s SAF production know-how has been integrated with Vitol Aviation’s expertise in the handling of jet fuel.

Neste MY SAF is generated entirely from sustainable and renewable waste and residue raw materials, including animal / fish fat waste and cooking oil.

This fuel, in its pure form and over the lifecycle, is said to cut down around 80% of greenhouse gas emissions as against the fossil jet fuel use.

The airport has also requested the UK Government to establish requirements of at least 10% SAF use by carriers by 2030, growing to at least 50% by 2050.

So far, nearly 58% of Heathrow airlines have decided to switch to 10% SAF usage by 2030.

The airport has incorporated HEFA (Hydrotreated Esters and Fatty Acids) as the SAF, which is produced from vegetable oils, waste oils or fats.

This week, Heathrow opened a dedicated terminal for passengers arriving on direct flights from red-list destinations with a high risk of Covid.

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