New Delhi, 28th April, 2023. A meeting of the Consultative Committee of Ministry of Civil Aviation held in New Delhi today. The subject for discussion was Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).The meeting was chaired by Minister of Civil Aviation Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia and attended by several Hon’ble Members of Parliament.
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been entrusted to facilitate to reduce the carbon emissions from international civil aviation as one of its focus areas. In order to mitigate carbon emissions from aviation sector and its impacts on climate change. ICAO has adopted the aspirational goals, viz. 2% annual fuel efficiency improvement through 2050, Carbon Neutral Growth from 2020 onwards, and net zero by 2050. A basket of measures has also been identified by ICAO to achieve these goals which include the Carbon Offfsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and the Long Term Aspirational Goals (LTAG).
CORSIA is implemented in three phases, out of which participation is voluntary in the first two phases for (2021-2026). India has decided not to participate in the voluntary phases of CORSIA. Offsetting requirement under the CORSIA for Indian careers will start from 2027. This will enable airlines of the developing countries like India to get time to grow more and do not face any financial consequences due to CORSIA by joining voluntary phases. CORSIA is applicable to international flights originating from one country to another. Financial implications due to offsetting will be born by individual airlines depending upon their international operations as and when applicable.
India has committed to net zero by 2070 at COP26 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) has notified a National Policy on Bio Fuels 2018 to realize the goal of de-carbonization of aviation sector. MoPNG constituted the Bio-Aviation Turbine Fuel Programme Committee to take forward the Bio-ATF Programme in the country to promote the use of clean fuel in aviation. The Committee has submitted its report which has now been circulated to various stakeholders.
India has also taken several steps like joining ICAO’s Assistance Capacity Building & Training for Sustainable Aviation Fuels Programme. The Bureau of Indian Standard has issued Indian Standard for Bio-Jet ATF in January 2019. Several meetings have been held with the Indian Carriers to sensitize them regarding the impact of CORSIA on airlines once the mandatory phase starts and the resultant needs to be prepared for the same.
DGCA has also granted approval to following:
- M/s Spicejet operated a demonstration flight with 25% SAF (Biofuel produced from Jatropha seeds by Indian Institute of Petroleum, CSIR lab) blended with ATF from Dehradun to Delhi in August, 2018. The fuel is under process of ASTM approval.
- M/s Indigo carried out its first international ferry flight with 10% blended fuel from Toulouse to Delhi on 17.02.2022.
- M/s Vistara carried out 30% blended SAF ferry flight from Seattle to Delhi in March 2023
- M/s Air Asia to carry out first commercial domestic flight with 0.57% SAF belnded fuel flight is yet to commence.
Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOICL) has planned an 86.8 TMTPA plant at Panipat using LanzaJet ATJ (alcohol to jet) Technology. IOCL has also signed a MoU with Pune-based Praj Industries to set up a plant for developing ATJ fuels.
Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. Is planning to build a bio-ATF pilot plant at Mangalore using CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum’s technology using non edible oils and used cooking oil as feedstock.
The meeting ended with the Union Minister thanking the participating Members of Parliament for their valuable suggestions.