Brisbane Airport Welcomes Moves For Jet Zero Council

In its first budget this week, the new Australian Government has inserted itself into the push for aviation to reach net zero emissions. The government is getting behind aviation by establishing a federal body like the UK’s Jet Zero Council or the Council for Sustainable Aviation Fuels in Canada.

Jet Zero is modeled on the UK council

In the words of the government, the Jet Zero-style council, yet to be officially named, will inform the development of policy settings to encourage emissions reduction in the aviation industry. The council was first announced in July by the minister for infrastructure, transport, regional development and local government, Catherine King. At a function organized by the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Alliance Australia New Zealand, King said, “As a nation more dependent on aviation than almost any other, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to drive change.”


Photo: Brisbane Airport Corporation

Yesterday Brisbane Airport, which has its own ambitious net zero goals, welcomed the government’s commitment to the council and the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The airport’s executive general manager of sustainability, Raechel Paris, said that getting the policy right from the start is essential to developing a domestic sustainable aviation fuel market. She added:

“Next year the world will celebrate 120 years since the Wright Brothers became the first to harness powered flight. What a tribute to their legacy if 2023 also marked a turning point in reducing the impact of global aviation on the planet.”

Brisbane Airport, the home of Virgin Australia, aims to reach net zero Scope 1 and 2 by 2025, meaning that the emissions generated by the airport’s direct activity will be zero. More problematic is reducing Scope 3 emissions, which are those from third parties’ activity, including businesses operating at the airport. Scope 3 emissions make up the vast majority at the airport and include aviation, hence the focus on the development, supply and use of SAF.

Even the tanker is net zero

Photo: Brisbane Airport Corporation

In August, the airport introduced Australia’s first all-electric fuel tanker, operated by Air bp. The tanker, which can carry 16,000 liters (4,230 gallons), is powered by Lithium-ion batteries that recharge overnight. It is the first all-electric hazardous goods vehicle and refueler approved for use in Australia and joins the airport’s fleet of electric buses, which are reducing emissions by 250 tonnes annually. Minister King launched the electric tanker, which was designed and manufactured in Australia. Air bp provides fuel for 30 airlines and around 100 flights a day at the airport

The airport has signed up for the World Economic Forum’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow initiative, which has the goal of SAF usage reaching 10% by 2030. Paris said:

“Increasing the use of SAF as an alternative to fossil fuels is essential for the decarbonization of the aviation industry sector and its long-term sustainability. And Brisbane Airport wants to be a leader in the SAF industry.”

The new Jet Zero initiative is part of an AU$139.9 million ($91 million) support package for Australia’s aviation sector. Other components of the package include runway upgrades at Hobart International Airport (HBA) and Newcastle Airport (NTL), as well as border facilities at the under-construction Western Sydney Airport (SWZ).

Announcements like this are great for aviation and, at the least, send a message to the community that aviation is cleaning up its act. However, reaching net zero relies on having the SAF available, and that’s where the big investments need to be made.

Are you seeing any meaningful actions on SAF production where you live?

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