A total of 26 Spanish airports will be affected by the new European decarbonization regulations
The Canary Islands are excluded from the new rules
The Ciudadanos MEP, José Ramón Bauzá, has opted for Spain as "one of the countries with the greatest potential for the production of SAF in Europe and in the world", thanks to its size of the primary sector, the development of renewable energies and its position as a green hydrogen producing hub.
This was defended in the presentation of the new European regulations, approved in the plenary session of the European Parliament last Wednesday and of which Bauzá has been the driving force in the negotiations, which will impose the use of at least 70% of ecological fuels to aircraft operating at European Union airports by 2050.
The consensual modulation starts from 2% in 2025 with increases every five years, so that the minimum objective in 2030 will be 6% 'green' fuels, 20% in 2035; 34% in 2040 and 42% in 2045; until reaching 70% in 2050.
Regarding the agreement, Bauzá highlighted that "Europe marks the future of a key sector such as aviation." "We are convinced that sustainable fuels are the way to reduce CO2 emissions and we have set clear objectives, with generous deadlines and a realistic schedule," he added.
For this reason, the Cs MEP has asked the new Government of Spain to support the necessary measures, since the country must cover the demand for SAF, which is estimated at 5 million tons between now and 2050, according to a PwC study.
Thus, it is necessary to have between 30 and 40 production plants for this fuel. National support measures include a national SAF production aid plan and tax incentives.
"We can turn this new regulation into a great opportunity for Spain, but the Government has to push in this direction and I don't know if it is precisely among its objectives," he defended during the presentation.
26 SPANISH AIRPORTS AFFECTED
Specifically, this regulation, called ReFuelEU Aviation, applies to all EU airports with an annual volume of 800,000 passengers and/or with cargo transport greater than 100,000 tons. For airlines, this legislation affects companies with 500 annual passenger flights or more than 52 annual cargo flights.
Therefore, based on Aena's annual data corresponding to 2022, collected by Europa Press, a total of 26 airports in Spain would be affected by this European regulation.
Specifically, these aerodromes would be Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat, Palma de Mallorca, Málaga-Costa del Sol, Alicante-Elche Miguel-Hernández, Gran Canaria, Tenerife South, Ibiza, Valencia, Lanzarote- César Manrique, Seville, Fuerteventura, Tenerife North and Bilbao, Menorca,
Added to them are those of Menorca, Santiago-Rosalía de Castro, Asturias, Girona-Costa Brava, La Palma, Seve Ballesteros-Santander, A Coruña, Vigo, Jeréz de la Frontera, Reus, Granada-Jaén and the International Airport of the Region of Murcia.
Furthermore, the outermost territories are excluded in this regulation, such as the Canary Islands in the case of Spain or the Portuguese archipelagos, with the aim of protecting the national tourism sector. "Total and absolute exoneration for these territories," Bauzá assured.
MEASURES TO AVOID THE INCREASE IN TICKET PRICES.
During the presentation, Bauzá explained that currently the fuel supply can reach 25% of the total cost for airlines, added to the fact that SAF "is three or four times more expensive than kerosene."
In this sense, the CS MEP has stated that the agreement introduces mechanisms of flexibility and control of supply and prices so that "this process does not end up having an impact on the price of tickets."
In this regard, airlines that use SAF can offset the mandatory payment of CO2 emission rights, especially for those flights that operate in island territories such as the Balearic Islands. According to Bauzá, "the fundamental thing is that we create legal certainty and that we give a reasonable period of time. The objectives can be achieved."
NEW RULES IN EUROPE
Lacking only the formal approval of the Twenty-Seven for its final adoption, the agreement - validated this Wednesday with the support of 518 MEPs, 97 against and 8 abstentions - will apply from January 1, 2025.
The definition of sustainable aviation fuel includes both synthetic fuels and biofuels obtained from agricultural or forestry waste, algae, organic waste or used cooking oil.
In the case of synthetics, the agreement specifies the specific proportion of the mixture so that, for example, for e-kerosene it is set at 1.2% in 2030; 2% in 2032; 5% in 2035 and progressively up to 35% in 2050.
At the proposal of MEPs, recycled fuels produced from gases emitted in waste processing or obtained from plastic waste will also be included.
In addition, those fuels that can be obtained from food crops and forage or those derived from palm oil and soybeans are excluded because they do not meet the sustainability criteria set by the EU.
The new legislation, which is part of a broader climate package with the EU's environmental objectives for the coming decades, foresees the creation of a European 'green' label for flights from 2025, with the aim that Airlines can credit the carbon footprint per passenger and the estimated CO2 emissions per kilometer and thus allow travelers to compare which are the most sustainable options for completing their route.