Aberdeen milestone

Cooking oil fuels offshore helicopter trips

Linda Tames and Yasmin McCulloch of BP; Russell Gould, Bristow; and Jon Matthews, AGS Airports

Offshore workers will be transported by helicopters using discarded cooking oil after Aberdeen airport received its first commercial delivery of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

It was delivered by Air BP and will be blended with traditional jet fuel for Bristow flights to the energy firm’s North Sea operations.

BP is the first operator in the region to voluntarily commit to an ongoing supply of SAF for its North Sea flights, helping to decarbonise the transport to its offshore operations.

SAF, produced from sustainable feedstocks, delivers up to 80% fewer lifecycle carbon emissions than the traditional jet fuel it replaces. It is designed as a ‘drop-in’ fuel, safe to use in existing aircraft and airport infrastructure.

It has the potential to play an important role in meeting the aviation industry’s carbon reduction targets and is recognised as part of the government’s jet zero strategy and ambition to drive net zero aviation by 2050.

Mark Beveridge, operations director at Aberdeen airport, said: “This is an important announcement. It is recognised globally that SAF will play a major role in making jet zero aviation a reality and SAF has the potential to significantly reduce UK aviation emissions. BP’s decision to make SAF commercially available at Aberdeen is a significant moment.”

In 2021, Bristow, BP’s helicopter operator of its North Sea flights, completed one of the first SAF-powered flights in the UKCS flying an S-92 helicopter from Aberdeen International Airport to installations operated by BP.

Yasmin McCulloch, aviation operations lead at BP, said: “We are strong advocates of the use of SAF in the aviation industry. We believe its adoption is an important element in achieving the industry’s aim of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“We’re pleased that we have supplied SAF for our offshore flights through our longstanding relationship with Bristow and are excited by its potential to help us decarbonise the transport to our offshore operations.”

Bristow’s UK director, Matt Rhodes, said: “There is huge opportunity for SAF to become the fuel of choice for future North Sea oil and gas flights.”

Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth said: “This is a really encouraging development as the increased use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) will be an essential stepping stone towards the Scottish aviation sector reaching net zero.”

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