SP Guide Publications puts forth a well compiled articulation of issues, pursuits and accomplishments of the Indian Army, over the years

— General Manoj Pande, Indian Army Chief

I am confident that SP Guide Publications would continue to inform, inspire and influence.

— Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Indian Navy Chief

My compliments to SP Guide Publications for informative and credible reportage on contemporary aerospace issues over the past six decades.

— Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Indian Air Force Chief

Charting a Sustainable Course

India’s aviation sector is experiencing rapid growth accompanied by an inevitable surge in carbon emissions. To counter this environmental challenge, collaborative initiatives between airlines and the MoCA need to taken shape for the integration and adoption of SAF.

Issue: 02-2024By Rohit GoelIllustration(s): By SP’s Team

In the aftermath of a resilient recovery from the impacts of the pandemic, the aviation industry is strategically realigning its trajectory with a dual focus on economic resurgence and heightened environmental consciousness. At the forefront of this transformative shift is Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), a pivotal player in the endeavour to decarbonise air travel.


The primary hurdle facing the widespread adoption of SAF is its current cost relative to conventional jet fuel. The aviation sector, grappling with narrow profit margins, seeks governmental support and market-based mechanisms, including carbon pricing, to bridge the cost gap.

Sourcing sustainable feedstocks such as waste oils and agricultural residues is pivotal to avoid land-use change and address food security concerns. A conscientious approach to feedstock acquisition is vital for ensuring the sustainability of SAF production.

Critical steps include boosting domestic SAF production capacity, expanding blending facilities at airports, and investing in infrastructure to meet the growing demand for SAF. Research and development efforts in next-generation SAF technologies are essential for reducing emissions and making SAF economically viable.

Strategic investments in research, development, and commercialisation of indigenous SAF production technologies are crucial. Effective incentives and support mechanisms must be implemented by the government to create a conducive environment for private sector involvement and foster economies of scale.


While the global aviation industry sets ambitious targets, India must intensify its efforts towards a sustainable future. Beyond environmental benefits, SAF adoption can stimulate economic growth, creating jobs and green businesses in the biofuels sector. Public awareness and advocacy, coupled with supportive policies, can drive demand for SAF and accelerate the transition towards a cleaner and more responsible future in aviation.

India currently lacks sufficient domestic SAF production capacity. Strategic investments in research, development, and commercialisation of indigenous SAF production technologies are crucial for establishing a robust and self-reliant supply chain. Upgrading airport infrastructure is a prerequisite for successful integration.

In the Indian context, transitioning to SAF requires collaboration among airlines, the government, and other stakeholders. While commendable progress has been made, it is imperative to acknowledge that current efforts may not be sufficient. More robust policies, enhanced infrastructure, and accelerated interventions are required to expedite India’s journey towards sustainable aviation practices.

The challenges of cost disparities and financial implications necessitate a comprehensive review of existing policies and the swift implementation of innovative solutions. Governmental support, coupled with market-based mechanisms like carbon pricing, can bridge the financial gap, making SAF adoption financially viable for the aviation sector.

Sourcing sustainable feedstocks presents an opportunity to align SAF production with environmental and food security goals. A conscientious approach to feedstock acquisition, avoiding land-use change, and prioritising waste oils and agricultural residues are crucial steps. Additionally, boosting domestic production capacity, expanding blending facilities, and investing in infrastructure are vital components for fostering a seamless transition within the aviation sector.

Recognising India’s current lack of sufficient domestic SAF production capacity, strategic investments in research, development, and commercialisation are imperative. This necessitates a dual-pronged approach of creating a conducive environment for private sector involvement and fostering economies of scale. Upgrading airport infrastructure to handle SAF efficiently is pivotal for successful integration.

The strides taken by Indian carriers in embracing SAF are commendable, but it is evident that more needs to be done. Current efforts, though positive, must be augmented by bold policy decisions, increased investments, and a steadfast commitment to sustainable practices. Each flight powered by SAF is a significant step, but a collective, accelerated effort is essential to meet the challenges posed by climate change and propel India towards a more sustainable future. Only through concerted action can India truly embrace SAF, not just as a measure of resilience but as a beacon for a greener and more sustainable tomorrow in aviation.