IATA helps air cargo stakeholders regulate SAF

Photo: petrmalinak/ Shutterstock

Monitoring and accounting for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is due to become easier for air cargo operators with the creation of a new SAF registry.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) will launch the SAF registry next year to accelerate the uptake of SAF by accounting and reporting emissions reductions from use of the fuel.

Seventeen airlines, one airline group, six national authorities, three Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and one fuel producer are already supporting the effort to develop the registry, expected to launch in the first quarter of 2025.

Governments will also participate with the specific aim of ensuring compliance with the requirements of civil aviation authorities. Relevant authorities can validate and approve claims, update national emission inventories And align their actions with international standards, such as those set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 

“SAF is key to aviation’s decarbonisation. Airlines want more SAF and stand ready to use every drop of it. The SAF Registry will help meet the critical needs of all stakeholders as part of the global effort to ramp-up SAF production,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general. 

“Governments need a trusted system to track the quality and quantities of SAF used. SAF producers need to accurately account for what has been delivered and effectively decarbonized. Corporate customers must be able to transparently account for their Scope 3 emissions. And airlines must have certainty that they can claim the environmental benefits of the SAF they purchased.

“The Registry will meet all these needs. In doing so, the Registry will help create a global SAF market by ensuring that airlines have access to SAF wherever it is produced, and that SAF producers have access to airlines regardless of their location.”

The Registry will allow airlines to purchase SAF regardless of where it is produced. Each batch’s certified environmental attributes can be tracked and assigned to the purchasing airline.

By ensuring that the environmental attributes of SAF are properly recorded and transferred between parties, airlines and their customers can report emissions reductions accurately, aligning with any reporting obligations and international standards, explained IATA.

The Registry will be neutral with respect to regulations, types of SAF, and any other specificities under relevant jurisdictions and frameworks, making it capable of handling all such user requirements. As the initiator, IATA is working with certification organizations and fuel producers to standardise data for efficient processing. 

Additionally, the Registry is designed to help airlines meet regulations such as the Carbon Offsetting Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, ensuring compliance with SAF mandates and providing transparency to authorities regarding emissions reductions. 

IATA said that the Registry will also ensure that the sector’s agreed SAF accounting and reporting principles are adhered to and fully in alignment with international protocols and industry best practices. It is expected to safeguard against double counting and double claiming.

Participation in the registry will be on a cost-recovery basis to avoid adding unnecessary cost barriers to the SAF ramp-up, IATA said.

IATA also recently announced that its projections for a tripling SAF production in 2024 to 1.9bn litres are on track. This would account for 0.53% of aviation’s fuel need in 2024, said the trade body.

The European Commission (EC) recently wrote to 20 airlines to highlight several types of “potentially misleading green claims”.

Airlines’ green claims come under European Commission scrutiny






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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]