The IAP “Developing a Sustainable Air Hub in Singapore” Blueprint
This September, the International Advisory Panel (IAP) on Sustainable Air Hub submitted their report “Developing a Sustainable Air Hub in Singapore” to the Minister for Transport and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations.
The report is a blueprint for a decarbonisation roadmap for Singapore’s air hub with medium-term (2030) and longer-term (2050) targets as well as the methods required to achieve them.
The IAP, set up by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), was launched on 14th February 2022. The panel was created to help support the development of the Singapore Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint. Consisting of twenty international industry, tech, and knowledge leaders discussing “how international aviation can be made more sustainable and accessible for all, and how Singapore can contribute to this international effort.”
Who is involved?
Chaired by Professor Chong Tow Chong, the panel includes members from Airbus, The Boeing Company, Changi Airport Group, Singapore Airlines, Shell, IATA and others. The sessions involved over 120 representatives from forty local and international partners focusing on three key aviation areas: airport, airline, and air traffic management.
The 15 recommendations from the IAP
- Reduce air-conditioning carbon footprint
- Deploy solar power on airfield
- Increase use of renewable electricity
- Make all airside vehicles run on clean energy
- Set up waste-to-energy facility at Changi Airport
- Optimise airport operations
- Implement roadmap to secure long-term supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)
- Establish “buyer’s club” of sustainable aviation fuel to create demand
- Introduce offtake mechanism for sustainable aviation fuel
- Build carbon offset market in aviation sector
- Ensure Singapore is early an adopter of aircraft technology
Air traffic management
- Implement advanced demand-capacity balancing
- Make airplane descend continuously
- Optimise efficiency during all phases of flight
- Implement free route airspace
A closer look
Recommendation 1, “Reduce air-conditioning carbon footprint.” Changi Airport’s air-conditioning system makes up 60 per cent of the total energy used by its terminals. This positions it as a key area to address. Acknowledging the necessity of aircon for passenger experience, the report suggested working with stakeholders to improve the system’s energy efficiency through technology.
Recommendation 4, “Make all airside vehicles run on clean energy.” Changi Airport has already electrified around 10 per cent of their 2,000-3,000 strong airside vehicle fleet. The report suggest turning to stakeholders to facilitate the transition of the fleet to 100 per cent clean energy. The three methods of achieving this are outlined: electrification, conversion to hydrogen-powered vehicles, and the use of biofuels.
Recommendation 7, “Implement roadmap to secure long-term supply of sustainable aviation fuel.” SAF is the main focus of the airline recommendations. The IAP concluded Changi Airports needs to develop a long-term secured supply in Singapore and the region so more airlines can adopt these fuels. Currently, SAF is three to five times more expensive than conventional jet fuel and less than 0.1 per cent of jet fuel used by commercial airlines is SAF right now. However, Singapore is predicted to have the world’s largest SAF production capacity when Neste’s facility is Tuas is completed in 2023. The increased supply and demand of SAF is central to the IAP vision of a more sustainable future within the aviation industry.
The panel said decarbonising the aviation sector cannot be achieved by any single country or organisation on its own. However, Singapore is an international business, aviation, and aerospace hub and as such is well-positioned to help lead the way in achieving sustainability targets.
Sustainability is a key theme at this year’s World Aviation Festival with the topic being discussed in depth. Some of the organisations involved in the IAP will also be speaking this year including IATA who will discuss “How can we utilise next generation technology, innovation, and new types of fuel to get closer to achieving real scalable solutions for clean air travel?” and “”What are the various strategic and technological pathways to reach the aviation industry goal of net zero 2050?”
Article by Jess Brownlow