Teesside has become the UK’s first airport to partner with Air France-KLM for the airline’s programme to boost the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

This programme enables the airline to partner with organisations and companies such as Teesside Airport to accelerate the production, adoption and usage of SAF – which currently makes up less than 1% of fuel used on commercial flights – transitioning from traditional fuels and reducing the CO2 footprint of air travel. 

The programme also supports Teesside’s own plans to ensure the airport’s buildings and infrastructure hit Net Zero before the decade is out. A new Net Zero Strategy for the region also details how the airport aims to use SAF to achieve Net Zero flights by 2035 – making Teesside the UK’s first Net Zero airport.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “I’ve long championed the brilliant businesses across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool that are pioneering the cleaner, safer and healthier industries of the future and, as an airport, we have to practice what we preach. By joining forces with Air France-KLM, Teesside has further dedicated itself to driving the development and uptake of SAF for the good of the sector and the world.

“This is just one initiative helping to drive forward our low carbon ambitions for both the airport and region. Separately to this programme, multimillion-pound research and development into SAF is taking place on our doorstep.

“Schemes like the airport’s hydrogen vehicle trials also have applications not just at our site but far and wide. As these technologies develop, they’ll help decarbonise the environment, boost investment and create good-quality, well-paid jobs.”

Teesside Airport managing director Phil Forster said: “Partnering with the airlines that have long supported our airport to address the critical issues facing the industry is central to achieving these aims. We’re excited to be the UK’s first airport to sign up to this programme, setting out our stall as a leader in supporting emerging technologies in the sector.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us to decarbonise our airport from top to bottom, not just in its day-to-day operations but also in its flights – but with initiatives like this I’ve no doubt we can succeed.”

Image: Teesside Airport