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Korea conducts first test flight with sustainable aviation fuel 2023-09-06

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) announced on September 5 that over the next three months, the cargo airline flying from Incheon to Los Angeles will be partially fueled with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for test flights.

The first test flight was conducted via Korean Air’s flight KE207 at 5:45 p.m. on September 5 from Incheon to Los Angeles by filling two percent of the jet aircraft fuel with SAF. Five more test flights will be conducted over the next three months.

The SAF test flight is part of the follow-up measure to the public-private joint meeting by the Eco-Friendly Biofuel Activation Alliance and its 3rd general meeting held on June 28, and a result of a careful process of selecting the aircraft type, navigation route and establishing SAF refueling procedures through numerous meetings involving MOTIE, MOLIT, Korea Petroleum Quality & Distribution Authority (K-Petro), Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC), Korean Air, GS Caltex and Korea Airport Service (KAS).

MOTIE’s Resources Industry Policy Director General Yoo Beob-min stated that “the Ministry plans to promptly modify related laws and systems in the future, such as utilizing the data gained through the SAF test flight for developing quality standards by the first half of next year, and the Government will foster an environment suitable for investing in eco-friendly biofuel.”

A MOLIT official said that “the test flight is Korea’s first step towards SAF commercialization and a leap towards new growth businesses,” adding that “in step with the global trends on carbon reduction, MOLIT will also strongly support the production and use of SAF in Korea through various policies.”