Aviation companies at this year’s Dubai Airshow will showcase the latest solutions towards a sustainable future.
Industries have taken bold steps towards decarbonization, with innovation accelerating at an exponential rate. As Dubai Airshow leads up to the United Nation’s annual global climate change conference, COP28, which is also taking place in Dubai towards the end of the year, industry stakeholders will take the opportunity to showcase their latest solutions towards net zero emissions, discuss collaborations and gain new insights.
The aviation industry contributes approximately 2% to 3% of all global CO2 emissions but with a constant increase in passenger demand, this could rise to 25% to 30% by 2050 if no actions are taken, according to a new report by Frost & Sullivan titled ‘Sustainable Technologies in Aviation’, which raises the urgency on manufacturers, airlines and airport operators to undertake sustainability initiatives.
Additionally, global production capacity for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) needs to exceed 30 billion liters by 2030 and 450 billion liters by 2050 for airlines to be able to achieve net zero targets. In 2020, SAF production was just 450 million liters, according to IATA, which is less than 0.05% of the global demand of jet fuel.
However, several initiatives are already underway in the Middle East region. Recently, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) signed an agreement with Airbus, to support the development and growth of the global SAF market. The agreement will also see the entities collaborate on Green Hydrogen, and Direct Air Capture technologies. Meanwhile, Qatar Airways signed a deal with Shell to source 3,000 metric tons of neat SAF at Amsterdam Schiphol airport, making it the first carrier in the Middle East and Africa to procure a large SAF amount in Europe, beyond government SAF mandates.
Globally, Shell Aviation has signed several other agreements to provide airlines including JetBlue and Japan Airlines (JAL) with SAF, and Air bp, the specialized aviation division of multinational oil and gas company BP, has announced the first sale of SAF from its Castellon refinery in Spain, marking another important milestone at it works towards making SAF more available.
Earlier this year, Emirates successfully completed a demonstration flight powered by 100% SAF on a Boeing 777-300ER, as part of its plans to help the global aviation industry meet carbon emission targets. The airline has also earmarked $200 million to fund R&D on advanced fuel technologies that can reduce commercial aviation’s environmental impact.
Mikail Houari, President, Africa and Middle East at Airbus, commented: “At Airbus, we continue to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to leading the decarbonization journey in the aerospace industry through our pioneering role in developing disruptive technologies. Whether this is through hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft or other sustainable solutions when it comes to engines and fuels, our goals are a testament to the potential for revolutionizing the way we fly. We are relentlessly pursuing ambitions of building a more sustainable future for aviation as we seek to make our commercial fleet capable of flying with 100% SAF by 2030.”
Separately, Honeywell has launched a new technology called UOP eFining that produces lower-carbon aviation fuel from green hydrogen and carbon dioxide captured from industry.
Mohammed Mohaisen, president and CEO, Honeywell Middle East and North Africa, commented; “Sustainable Aviation Fuel represents a ready now opportunity to drive the sustainable growth of the aviation industry, yet it is still barely tapped into. Technologies that can harness readily abundant CO2 to produce SAF are transformational in terms of how we fuel aircraft and will play an important role in the long-term decarbonization of the sector. That is why we recently added UOP eFining™ to our existing Ecofining and ethanol-to-jet fuel portfolio, offering customers multiple pathways to SAF production through proven technology, and helping them meet the rapidly growing demand for renewable fuels today.”
Dubai Airshow has confirmed that sustainability is an increasingly important topic of discussion and area of focus for its stakeholders at the upcoming edition, taking place from 13-17 November 2023 at Dubai World Central (DWC), Dubai Airshow Site under the theme of ‘The Future of the Aerospace Industry’.