Members of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) have agreed on a new strategy regarding the use of sustainable fuels by the aviation industry.

The new 2050 Vision for Sustainable Aviation Fuels aims to ensure that the traditional jet fuels will be replaced with sustainable alternatives to a large percentage by 2050.

Discussions on the vision were held and formalised in the recently concluded second ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels, held in Mexico City, Mexico.

“Sustainable alternative fuels are critical to closing this gap.”

The participants agreed that any alternative fuel deployment must adhere to the sustainability criteria currently being developed by an ICAO task force.

Comprising member countries, international organisations and environmental groups, IACO’s Alternative Fuel Task Force (AFTF) intends to assess the potential reduction of greenhouse emissions (GHG) from the use of alternative fuels in the aviation sector until 2050.

AFTF also aims to evaluate the lifecycle of alternative fuels emissions and project the number of alternative fuels to be produced until 2050.

According to ICAO Council president Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, the current tools and achievements in the field of aviation’s emissions reduction are not enough to meet the industry’s 2020 ICAO targets.

Aliu said: “Even after these have been accounted for, we are still left with a significant mitigation requirement.

“Sustainable alternative fuels are critical to closing this gap.”

Several airports have already started supplying sustainable aviation to interested airlines. It has so far helped to take off more than 40,000 sustainable aviation fuels flights.

Aliu added: “Through these numerous actions, the aviation sector has now supplied the proof of concept for sustainable aviation fuels, confirming their operational viability and the feasibility of producing them in sustainable ways which lessen the impact of aviation on the climate.”

In 2009, ICAO held its first conference on sustainable aviation fuels and has been able to make progress in the area including the development of an internationally recognised alternative fuels specification, among others.