Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization representing the leading U.S. airlines, announced that its member carriers have pledged to work with government leaders and other stakeholders to make 3 billion gallons of cost-competitive sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) available to U.S. aircraft operators in 2030.
In March, as part of a commitment to work across the aviation industry to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, A4A members pledged to work toward a rapid expansion of the production and deployment of commercially viable SAF to make 2 billion gallons available in 2030.
“We are proud of our record on climate change, but we know the climate change challenge has only continued to intensify. Accordingly, A4A member carriers have embraced the need to take even bolder, more significant steps to address the climate crisis,” Airlines for America President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio said at a White House roundtable on sustainable aviation. “Today, I am pleased to announce that we are increasing our SAF ‘challenge goal’ by an additional 50 percent.”
Calio highlighted the need for positive government policy support – including a $1.50-$2.00 per gallon SAF blender’s tax credit; public-private SAF research, development and deployment programs, such as a new SAF and low emissions technology grant program under consideration by Congress; and other collaborative initiatives – to help enable the U.S. aviation industry to reach its ambitious new 2030 SAF goal and its 2050 net-zero emissions goal.
“To get there, we must work together – industry and government,” he said. “These goals are important, but they are meaningless without action. A4A and our members are taking and are committed to action, and we are committed to working together, across this industry and with Congress and the Administration, to make these goals a reality.”
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, U.S. airlines were transporting a record 2.5 million passengers and 58,000 tons of cargo per day while contributing less than 2 percent of the nation’s carbon emissions. For decades, U.S. passenger and cargo carriers have been investing in increasingly fuel-efficient aircraft and operating them in more efficient ways, improving overall fuel efficiency by more than 135 percent year-end 2019, saving over 5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equivalent to taking more than 27 million cars off the road on average in each of those years. Additionally, A4A and our members have helped launch the nascent SAF industry and committed to the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) to help facilitate achieving carbon-neutral growth in international aviation beginning in 2020.