Campaign groups, Unions and industry call on government to back sustainable aviation fuels

“The UK government should urgently invest in a home grown ‘sustainable aviation fuel’ (SAF) industry and create 60,000 new jobs,” said Parmjit Dhanda, Executive Director of Back Heathrow at a at a high-profile event in Parliament on the 27th November - the day before Virgin Atlantic’s first 100% SAF powered transatlantic flight.

Campaign group Back Heathrow brought together a coalition of trade unions, SAF industry representatives, airports, airlines and dozens of MPs for the launch of the ‘Its Time to Back SAFs’ campaign.

Mr Dhanda, himself a former minister, explained how SAFs made from renewable sources like municipal waste, waste feedstocks or carbon capture, can create tens of thousands of new green jobs across the country and help aviation to reach net zero carbon emissions.

He said “Let’s be clear, the economy needs air travel, and we need to cut carbon. Sustainable Aviation Fuel is the answer and can be used today, by whoever chooses to invest in this growing industry. If we don’t refine it here, we’ll end up importing it from the US or Europe.”

Unite the Union’s National Officer for Aviation, Oliver Richardson said: “Hundreds of thousands of jobs nationwide depend on the aviation sector. We need to scale-up SAF production quickly, if we are to reduce carbon emissions, protect our aviation sector and grow the economy. However, we need the government to wake-up and start supporting the SAF industry, to help create thousands of new green jobs.”

GMB Union National Secretary, Andy Prendergast said: “The UK must seize the opportunity to create thousands of new unionised jobs in Sustainable Aviation Fuel. There is potential for 7 plants across the country and 60,000 new jobs. We need the government to provide better revenue certainty to enable this investment to happen.”

Other speakers included Tim Alderslade (CEO of Airlines UK), Simon Lightwood MP (Shadow Transport Minister) and Virendra Sharma MP as event sponsor. The event attracted interest from front and back benches across the political spectrum.



Notes for Editor:

  • Back Heathrow represents 100,000 people living close to Heathrow Airport
  • The “Time to Back SAFs” Parliamentary Reception was held on 27th November at the Palace of Westminster
  • Picture 1 includes: (from left to right) Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP, Parmjit Dhanda, Virendra Sharma MP, Lord David Watts, Afzal Khan MP and Simon Lightwood MP
  • Picture 2 includes: (from left to right) Sir Graham Brady MP, Parmjit Dhanda, Virendra Sharma MP, Henry Smith MP and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP
  • Picture 3 includes: (from left to right) Parmjit Dhanda, and GMB representatives Trevlyn McLeod and Iram Ahmed
  • Picture 4: (from left to right) Unite the Union’s National Officer for Aviation - Oliver Richardson, Parmjit Dhanda and Virendra Sharma MP