Australia’s Qantas Group has called on Canberra to set mandates for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), supported by a local capability to produce SAF at scale.

The airline group suggests that the government set a mandate of 5% by 2030, rising to 28% by 2040.


Source: Bahnfrend/Wikimedia Commons

A Qantas 787-9 landing in Perth in March 2023. The carrier feels that existing noise restrictions fail to recognise the sound profile of modern airliners

“Decarbonising aviation is critical to Australia’s broader emissions reduction targets,” says Qantas.

“As the global community shifts, our ability to fly to several key offshore markets will start to be restricted from 2030 without significant action.”

Underlining the lack of SAF production capability in Australia, Qantas recommends that the government help finance new production facilities and introduce incentives for local producers to compete with overseas markets. It also suggests that the government provide tax incentives to encourage SAF production.

Qantas made the suggestions in a lengthy response document that addresses Australia’s Aviation Green Paper, which was released in September. The Green Paper, which covers a range of aviation issues, will inform Australia’s next Aviation White Paper.

Qantas adds that while fleet renewal goes some way to reducing emissions, improved air traffic management can lead to immediate benefits through shorter, more efficient flight paths. 

Reflecting the carrier’s sometimes difficult relationship with airports, Qantas wants access to an “independent and binding dispute resolution” that can provide “meaningful reform” in the area of aeronautical pricing.

“Modest reform within the existing light-handed regulatory framework will unlock immediate benefits and place downward pressure on fares,” says Qantas.

Further, Qantas sees scope for modernisation around noise regulations near Australia’s airports. Current noise reduction rules can result in inefficient flight paths that increase emissions. Qantas suggests that existing reductions fail to account for the quieter aircraft in service today.