The UK could be home to up to 14 sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facilities in areas across the country, new research reveals.

The sites are seen as places with the right feedstocks and infrastructure to turn household, agricultural and industrial waste and renewable electricity into jet fuel.

It suggests that a UK SAF industry could deliver £2.9 billion a year to the economy, creating 20,200 jobs in production and export services, with UK production saving 3.6 million tonnes of CO2  annually by 2038.

The study for industry coalition Sustainable Aviation, including  airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and air navigation service providers, calls for £500 million government funding to make the UK into a world leader in clean aviation technology.

The research by energy consultancy E4tech shows that the facilities could be based in seven clusters – Teesside, Humberside, the north-west of England, South Wales, Southampton, plus St Fergus and Grangemouth in Scotland.

SAF must play a major role in enabling the aviation industry to deliver its commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions for all departing flights by 2050 alongside airspace modernisation and engine and aircraft technologies, such as electrification and hydrogen, according to the coalition.

Adam Morton, chair of Sustainable Aviation, said: “Sustainable aviation fuels will be essential for the global aviation industry in a net zero world, and the UK has a golden opportunity to become a world-leader by commercialising this technology at an early stage.

“There are enormous benefits in terms of jobs and growth across these clusters.

“By backing SAF in this way, government can kick-start a green recovery, create high quality and future-proof jobs for thousands of people.

“All of this can be delivered at the same time as slashing carbon emissions.”