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Singapore Receives CheckList For Net-Zero Emissions Pathway

On Friday, a high-level advisory panel presented its recommendations for decarbonizing the aviation sector in Singapore. The 20-member International Advisory Panel (IAP) submitted its report, containing 15 key initiatives, to Singapore’s Minister for Transportation, Mr. S Iswaran.


The IAP, chaired by Professor Chong Tow Chong, president of the Singapore University of Technology and Design, was formed in February this year. Its charter was to “discuss how international aviation can be made more sustainable and accessible, and how Singapore can contribute to this international effort.” The members include leaders and senior executives from organizations including Airbus, Boeing, Singapore Airlines, Rolls-Royce, Neste, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

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Must build a complete SAF ecosystem

Singapore Airlines uplifting SAF at Changi Airport with representatives from CAAS, SIA, Temasek, ExxonMobil and Neste. Photo: SIA

The panel’s report, released by the CAAS, details 15 key initiatives across the three aviation domains of the airport, airline and air traffic management. In the airline domain, the IAP says that flight operations account for the bulk of global aviation emissions, and decarbonization will require significant action in this domain. It recommends five initiatives focused on improving the sustainability of airlines operating to, from and through Singapore, starting with the supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The report recommends that CAAS work with stakeholders to develop and implement a roadmap to create a long-term, secured ecosystem for SAF supply in Singapore and the region.

The panel recognizes the SAF supply chain needs to be “incentivized” and that strengthening the demand signals will encourage more SAF production. To achieve that, it recommends a ‘buyers club’ be established to bring together early adopters and aggregate SAF demand, sending clearer signals to producers of the size of the opportunity. The report adds:

“As a global business and logistics hub, Singapore has opportunities to tap on business travelers and air cargo users and encourage them to become first movers by joining the corporate buyers club. Thereafter, there is also the potential of collaborating with regional partners to expand the buyer’s club to the broader ASEAN region.”

As a major international hub, Singapore must also ensure that the region’s feedstock for producing SAF aligns with global standards. Leading SAF producer Neste is building a $1.5 billion facility in Singapore with the capacity to produce one million metric tonnes of SAF annually, which is due for completion in the first quarter of 2023.

New aircraft technology on Singapore’s radar

Airbus has released three proposed hydrogen zero-emission aircraft. Photo: Airbus

Beyond making existing aircraft more sustainable, the panel also looked into emerging propulsion technologies now under development. It believes that Singapore needs to be at the forefront of advancements in aviation technology to gain the full benefits. To drive that, it says that CAAS needs to work with stakeholders to explore setting up a technical center in Singapore that taps into the nation’s extensive research and development ecosystem. The proposed center would collaborate with aircraft original equipment manufacturers and other aviation partners to build capabilities and be at the forefront of future developments. It specifically mentions this would complement the existing efforts at Changi Aiport exploring the use of hydrogen.

In the airport domain, the panel listed six initiatives to improve sustainability at Changi Airport, mainly by switching to renewable energy and improving efficiency. These include more solar panel deployment on the airfield, greater use of clean-energy airside vehicles and investigating an onsite waste-to-energy facility.

These findings will form part of the ‘Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint,’ to be published next year. The blueprint will outline the roadmap for decarbonizing aviation for the Singapore air hub, with medium-term 2030 and longer-term 2050 targets and strategies. Singapore wants to become a global hub for sustainable aviation, and this IAP report is a critical marker in that journey.

What are your thoughts on when SAF might be available at scale?

Source: CAAS

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