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Opinion

Sustainable aviation fuels could soon be a commercial reality in Canada

By Michael Burt      

The aviation industry has made significant commitments to reduce its environmental footprint, such as carbon neutral growth by 2020 and a 50 per cent reduction in GHG emissions by 2050. Achieving these commitments will require a multi-pronged approach.

The world’s airlines have been experiencing a historic run in recent years. Thanks to surging demand and the big drop in oil prices in 2014 global industry profits reached a record high of US$38-billion in 2017. Photograph courtesy of Pixabay

The world’s airlines have been experiencing a historic run in recent years. Thanks to surging demand and the big drop in oil prices in 2014 global industry profits reached a record high of US$38-billion in 2017. Canadian airlines have been part of this trend, with industry profitability rising to a record $1.7-billion last year. Since oil prices are on the rise again, profitability levels are expected to decline this year despite continued healthy growth in demand. Going forward, increasing use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) is one of the ways the industry may mitigate the impacts of changing oil prices, while simultaneously reducing its environmental footprint.

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