Singapore and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have signed an agreement for Singapore to provide and receive assistance, capacity-building, and training (ACT) on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) under the ICAO ACT-SAF programme. The agreement was signed by Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and Mr Juan Carlos Salazar, Secretary-General, ICAO on the sidelines of the 41st ICAO Assembly in Montreal, Canada. Singapore is the fourth signatory of the ICAO ACT-SAF agreement after Brazil, the European Commission, and Spain.

On 7 October 2022, ICAO Member States, at ICAO’s triennial Assembly, endorsed the setting of a collective long-term aspirational goal for international aviation to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The achievement of this goal is contingent on technological advancements, improved operations and the development and deployment of SAF. Based on studies and scenarios laid out in the ICAO long-term aspirational goal report, SAF is expected to be the most impactful initiative in ICAO’s basket of measures for the reduction of aviation carbon emissions and the achievement of the long-term aspirational goal.

The ACT-SAF programme is one of ICAO’s key initiatives in working towards achieving this goal. The capacity-building programme supports States on the development and deployment of SAF, fosters partnerships and cooperation as well as provides a knowledge sharing platform for SAF initiatives across countries and the world. Projects under ACT-SAF may include feasibility studies, training programmes, support for SAF certification and policy implementation.

Under the programme, Singapore will provide experts and resources to share our expertise and experience, including in areas such as setting up an International Advisory Panel (IAP) to engage industry and canvass ideas, developing a Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint to provide a national roadmap, adopting an ecosystem approach and catalysing public-private collaboration to drive implementation. Singapore has embarked on a one-year pilot to use blended SAF at Changi Airport and will have the world’s largest SAF plant when it is completed next year, which can provide useful reference for other States planning to develop and deploy SAF.

At the same time, Singapore will receive support from other participating States in our areas of interest, including in policy and regulation, industry development and technology which will help in the development and deployment of SAF in Singapore. These are some of the areas the IAP on Sustainable Air Hub, which was set up to advise CAAS, had recommended that CAAS work on.

Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General of CAAS said, “The ICAO long-term aspirational goal is a historic agreement to undertake highly ambitious climate action. Singapore signing onto the ACT-SAF programme is a statement of our commitment to this global goal and to do our part to contribute to this global effort. This multilateral collaboration complements what we are already doing at the national level through initiatives like developing the Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint and bilaterally with countries like New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States. They are mutually reinforcing and add momentum to the overall decarbonisation effort.”