The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is launching a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) Registry to improve reporting of emissions reductions gained by using the fuel across its supply chain.

The airline trade association said 17 airlines, one airline group, six national authorities, three original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and one fuel producer had already signed up to its registry, which is scheduled to launch in Q1 2025. 

IATA Director General Willie Walsh said the registry would benefit all SAF stakeholders, he explained: “Governments need a trusted system to track the quality and quantities of SAF used. SAF producers need to accurately account for what has been delivered and effectively decarbonized. 

“Corporate customers must be able to transparently account for their Scope 3 emissions, and airlines must have certainty that they can claim the environmental benefits of the SAF they purchased. The registry will meet all these needs.” 

The announcement came during the organisation’s 80th AGM in Dubai, UAE where major airlines including United, Emirates, Air France-KLM and IAG signed on to the registry, along with national authorities in Brazil, Singapore, and Switzerland, and three of the biggest OEMs: Boeing, Airbus, and GE Aerospace. 

In addition to supporting the interests of the supply chain, IATA also outlined three capabilities of the registry such as improving the geographic scope of SAF by allowing airlines to purchase it from anywhere in the world thanks to the proper recording of emissions information. 

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Furthermore, it claimed the registry would provide standardised data that was neutral in relation to regulations but could support compliance with schemes such as the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. 

IATA’s registry announcement came as it also announced that the industry was on track to meet its projections of tripling SAF production in 2024, with around 1.9bn litres set to be produced this year.

The organisation also highlighted a range of policies that could support the fuel including aiding the diversification of feedstocks, facilitating co-processing at crude oil facilities, and providing incentives to renewable fuel facilities to encourage them to move to SAF production. 

While use of SAF has become a focal point for the aviation industry’s net-zero plans, with IATA expecting it to account for 65% of aviation’s total carbon mitigation by 2050, SAF has also struggled to see a quick uptake thanks to its high expenses and low availability, with airlines currently only using the fuel in small blends. 

In fact, Boeing’s sustainability chief Brian Moran recently notably claimed that it was unlikely SAF would ever reach the same price levels as traditional jet fuel, describing its use as coming with a “green premium”, though he continued to back its development.