Heathrow has become the first major UK airport to start integrating sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) into its operations.
The move by the UK’s hub airport sees the sustainable fuel blended into its main fuel supply from Thursday (3 June) and will be used by airlines over the next few days.
Although this blended fuel is only initially going to be equivalent to powering between five and 10 short-haul flights, Heathrow said the initiative would “serve as proof of concept” which will allow “much greater use” of sustainable fuel in the future.
The project is using sustainable fuel from Neste which is produced from waste and residue raw materials, such as used cooking oil and animal and fish fat waste. In its neat form, this fuel reduces emissions by up to 80% compared with traditional jet fuel.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “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.
“The UK government now has an opportunity to create a new British growth industry by backing sustainable aviation fuel production and also be leaders in the race to a net zero 2050.
“Now is the time for less talk and more action and ministers should set an escalating mandate to blend SAF into fuel and provide incentives that are stable over five to 10 years to foster investment in production, with a target of 10% [airline use] by 2030 and at least 50% by 2050.”