Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore Trials Renewable Diesel for Airside Vehicles at Changi Airport

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is working with airport stakeholders to conduct trials on the use of renewable diesel for heavy and specialised airside vehicles operating at Singapore Changi Airport, as part of its larger effort to decarbonise the Singapore aviation sector.

The trials will help Singapore develop the supply chain and procurement processes for using renewable diesel at Changi Airport and evaluate renewable diesel’s operating performance vis-à-vis conventional fossil diesel, including the requirements and frequencies of vehicular and equipment maintenance.

The trials will involve all key stakeholders operating specialised vehicles and ground support equipment at Changi Airport, including Changi Airport Group (CAG), dnata, SATS and SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC), which will work together as a community and exchange learning points.

The trials are expected to last one year and will inform deliberation on future adoption of renewable diesel to power the heavy and specialised airside vehicle types for which there are no or few viable electric options.

The trials are eligible for funding support from CAAS under the Aviation Sustainability Programme to help companies defray the cost of using renewable diesel which can be up to three times more expensive than fossil diesel, and the cost of emissions testing and logistical support.

CAAS has identified the transition to cleaner energy for airside vehicles as a key initiative under the Singapore Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint which was published in February 2024.

 Cleaner energy transition for airside vehicles is to be achieved through three main pathways: electrification, the use of biofuels, and exploring the use of hydrogen-powered airside vehicles.

While electrification, given its maturity and the wide availability of viable electric vehicle variants, is the main cleaner energy pathway especially for light vehicles such as cars and vans, many of the over 1,800 heavy and specialised vehicles and ground support equipment at Changi Airport airside have few viable electric options.

A key near-term decarbonisation pathway for such vehicles is the use of biofuels, and in particular renewable diesel.