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ICAO Conference on sustainable alternative fuels agrees on new 2050 Vision to guide future development and deployment

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MONTEAL and MEXICO CITY – ICAO Member States have agreed on a new 2050 Vision for Sustainable Aviation Fuels which will now help to ensure that conventional jet fuels are substituted with sustainable alternatives to a significant percentage by 2050.

The decision was formalized last Friday at the Second ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels, held in Mexico City, Mexico. States’ delegates to the event also confirmed that any related alternative fuel deployment must adhere to the sustainability criteria currently being developed by a Task Force at ICAO, which includes States, international organizations and environmental groups.

In his opening remarks to the event, ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu stressed the need for this new Vision, noting that aviation’s emissions reduction progress – currently being achieved through technological innovation and streamlined operations – will be insufficient to meet the sector’s 2020 ICAO targets.

“Even after these have been accounted for, we are still left with a significant mitigation requirement,” he cautioned. “Sustainable alternative fuels are critical to closing this gap.”

President Aliu also noted that a number of airports have begun offering sustainable aviation fuels to airlines interested in purchasing them, and that this approach has led to more than 40,000 sustainable aviation fuels flights being conducted since they were first introduced.

“Through these numerous actions, the aviation sector has now supplied the proof of concept for sustainable aviation fuels, confirming their operational viability and the feasibility of producing them in sustainable ways which lessen the impact of aviation on the climate,” he added.

Since ICAO’s first conference on this topic in 2009, significant progress has occurred, including an internationally recognized alternative fuels specification, five conversion processes approved for their production, and reductions in production costs. The new ICAO Vision agreed at the Mexico event will now help guide international civil aviation stakeholders as they work to employ sustainable fuel alternatives and significantly reduce aviation emissions.

Together with Dr. Aliu, the Conference was opened by Lic. Yuriria Mascott Perez, Under-secretary of Transport, Mexico, and Mr. Alfonso Sarabia de la Garza, Director General of Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares (ASA), Mexico.

Mr. Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez, Director General, Servicios a la Navegacion en el Espacio Aereo Mexicano (SENEAM), and Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador of ICAO, was elected Chairman of the meeting, and Mr. Kevin Shum, the Director General of Civil Aviation of Singapore, was elected Vice-Chairman.

Dr. Aliu and officials of the Government of Mexico also held a bilateral meeting to discuss, among other items, the progress of sustainable aviation fuel projects and infrastructure development programmes in Mexico, as well as the ongoing support of ICAO to the Government of Mexico in the development of various airport and air navigation initiatives.

ICAO was deeply grateful to the Mexican and Mexico City governments for helping to ensure the excellent organization for the event, even in the aftermath of its recent earthquakes.

Economic development and CAA autonomy top items discussed during ICAO President mission to Mauritius
On the occasion of his visit to Mauritius to attend the 27th ACI AFRICA/WORLD Conference, ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu held bilateral talks today with the President of Mauritius, Her Excellency Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, the State’s Prime Minister Hon. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, and the Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of Civil Service Mr Nayen Koomar Ballah, to discuss matters of mutual interest related to civil aviation in Mauritius.

During the discussions, Dr. Aliu highlighted the importance of civil aviation as an enabler to national development, especially in Island States such as Mauritius. While recognizing its current performance in the aviation sector, he emphasized the need to further improve effective Implementation of aviation safety/security oversight and to address existing challenges identified through ICAO audits and missions, Mauritius’s membership in the ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD), and the autonomy of the State’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The President encouraged Mauritius to strengthen regional and sub-regional cooperation in the South Africa Development Community and Indian Ocean States, and to enhance its participation in SASO, the Regional Safety Oversight Organization (RSOO), in order to achieve the objectives of ICAO’s No Country Left Behind initiative. The ICAO Council President further highlighted the need for appropriate infrastructure to be set in place in order to manage forecast flight and passenger growth in the Region.

Dr. Aliu lastly appreciated the commitment of the Mauritius government to aviation development, and its prioritization of the air transport sector in its national development agenda. He also reiterated ICAO’s support and assistance in aid of the State’s efforts to improve its effective implementation of aviation safety and security oversight systems through the ICAO Regional Office in Nairobi. The President was accompanied by the ICAO Regional Directors of the Eastern and Southern African (ESAF) and Western and Central African (WACAF) Offices. 

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