Much of the development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to date has been driven by Original Equipment Manufacturers (like Boeing) and a handful of progressive airlines. Although this has proven to be an effective way to get SAF on the radar of governments and other stakeholders, it has not yet resulted in large scale market penetration. The price premium for SAF is the most important factor limiting the uptake thus far, as the highly competitive nature of the airline industry makes that airlines cannot afford to pay more for fuel on a structural basis.

That’s why we see an important role for airports to further the development of SAF. Airports can leverage their unique position at the intersection of airlines, fuel suppliers, fuel operators, governments, and communities to support the scale-up of SAF. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best model needs to be tailored to the regional context. However, we see that successful models require the cooperation of stakeholders from various parts of the supply chain to enable the introduction SAF.

The benefits for airports

SAF flights bring significant environmental and economic benefits to airports:

1. CO2 reduction
SAF can achieve up to 85% CO2 emissions reduction compared to conventional jet fuel. The key difference lies in the source of the carbon. Fossil fuels release additional carbon that was previously stored in reservoirs. SAF recycles CO2 emissions that were emitted previously and subsequently absorbed from the atmosphere during biomass production.

2. Improved local air quality
In addition to the reduction of total life cycle CO2 emissions, SAF can also reduce direct emissions: particulate matter (PM) with up to 90% and sulfur (SOX) with 100%, compared to conventional jet fuel. Reducing these emissions both impact local air quality, in particular in areas with a high density of flight movements, such as airports.

3. CSR & Marketing
Engaging in SAF projects and programs helps to reach sustainability goals and creates positive exposure.

4. Economic development & community engagement
A medium to long-term benefit of building a market for SAF is that it can stimulate regional development. A supply chain for SAF aggregates demand and creates a reliable market pull that can attract investment to fund new business activities, resulting in innovation, land-use development, and job creation.

Our services for airports

We understand that airports do not buy or use jet fuel, however, the transition towards sustainable aviation is critical for all aviation stakeholders and thus airports have a role to play as well. Airports are uniquely positioned at the intersection of all stakeholders and can leverage this to scale-up (or introduce) SAF.

SkyNRG can support airports in various ways, always working towards the end-goal of SAF implementation. Below examples of our services:

1. Development of a SAF operations plan
Detailing the most efficient way to integrate SAF into the existing jet fuel supply chain. This includes logistics, blending with conventional jet fuel, certification, and into wing fuelling.

2. Co-funding mechanisms for SAF
Working with the airport and its stakeholders we can make SAF affordable through co-funding and marketing. Examples are Board Now. KLM Corporate BioFuel Programme, the Fly Green Fund, government incentives, and airport support.

3. Development of a regional SAF Supply chain
Airports can be key in kick-starting a SAF supply chain, this is typically part of a larger project which should be tailored to the regional situation and its stakeholders. For more information on supply chain development see our page Direct Supply Lines (DSL).

4. Support with stakeholder management for SAF related activities and guaranteeing sustainability through our sustainability board and NGO network.

Our involvement can take different shapes and forms, we would be happy to discuss how we can collaborate on SAF!


Misha Valk

Head of Future Fuels

Track Records Airports