ReFuelEU Aviation initiative: Sustainable aviation fuels and the 'fit for 55' package

Briefing 28-11-2023

ReFuelEU Aviation Initiative

EU lawmakers signed a regulation on ensuring a level playing field for sustainable air transport, otherwise referred to as the ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation, on 18 October 2023. It was published in the Official Journal on 31 October 2023 and will apply from 1 January 2024. However, Articles 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 will apply from 1 January 2025. The new regulation is a part of a legislative package to make the EU's climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030, compared with 1990 levels – the 'fit for 55' package. It seeks to ensure a level playing field for sustainable air transport. It obliges fuel suppliers to distribute sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), and envisages a growing share of SAF (including synthetic aviation fuels, or e-fuels) over time, to increase their uptake by airlines and thereby reduce emissions from aviation. Airlines must limit the uptake of jet fuel before departing from EU airports to what is needed for safe operation of flights, to ensure a level playing field for airlines and airports, and to avoid additional emissions relating to the extra weight of aircraft carrying excessive fuel. Sixth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.