"Government decision on SAFs must be a turning point for jobs and clean air" say unions and Back Heathrow campaign

The UK government’s decision to mandate all airlines to use at least 10% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030, has been welcomed by trade unions and the Back Heathrow campaign - which is currently running a local petition calling for cleaner air for communities around Heathrow, boosting SAF take-up and green jobs.

However, there was also a warning that the government’s decision needs to be a turning point, because without faster progress, the UK could miss out on thousands of green jobs.

Local resident Shafick Emmambokus said:

“For 25 years as a Cranford resident, Heathrow has been my neighbour and the centre of our community. SAFs will not only help Heathrow continue to decarbonise and thrive for the next 25 years, they could also help rebuild our country’s industrial base.”

Parmjit Dhanda, the Executive Director of Back Heathrow said:

“Over a thousand west Londoners have already signed our petition calling on the government to speed up the use of cleaner, greener and less emitting fuels (SAFs). They will welcome the Government’s decision to set a target, but progress has been too slow. We need more urgency to keep up with countries that are already refining SAFs in large quantities.”

Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said:

“This is a great opportunity for cleaner air and the creation of thousands of new skilled, unionised jobs. 

"However the Government must speed up plans to calculate the subsidy required to get this potentially great British industry up and running.”




Notes to Editor:

  • Parmjit Dhanda is Back Heathrow’s Executive Director. Back Heathrow represents over 100,000 supporters residing locally to Heathrow
  • Andy Prendergast is National Secretary of GMB with responsibility for the private sector
  • Picture 1 includes: (from left to right) Parmjit Dhanda, and GMB representatives Trevlyn McLeod and Iram Ahmed at Back Heathrow’s Parliamentary event on SAFs last year, attended by dozens of MPs
  • Picture 2 includes: (from left to right) Parmjit Dhanda, GMB representatives and Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary also at last year’s Parliamentary SAF event
  • Sustainable aviation fuel can reduce carbon emissions by up to 80% - it can be produced from waste oil and fats, green and municipal waste and non-food crops
  • According to an EU study, SAF can improve local air quality by reducing engine particulates when taxiing
  • A UK SAF industry has potential for 7 new plants across the country and 60,000 new jobs - according to a report by industry body Sustainable Aviation