Date/Time: 18 August 2020, 5:30pm – 6:45pm UAE Time
Format – moderated panel session


  • Alejandro Rios-Galvan (Director – Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, UAE)


  • Steve Csonka (Executive Director – Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), USA)
  • Kateryna Derkach (Director Strategy and Sustainability, Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN), Canada)
  • Pedro Scorza (Director de Biocombustíveis de Aviação na Ubrabio, Brazil)

Session attendees will come away with insights into:

  • An understanding of the different initiatives that have been launched around the world to promote SAFs
  • Managing a SAF initiative and governance structure
  • Stakeholder engagement process for SAF initiatives
  • Best practices for initiatives working on SAF


Steve Csonka is the Executive Director of CAAFI (the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, an industry partnership fostering the development and commercialization of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).  CAAFI engages in public-private-partnership activities designed to assist in bringing together the group of participants needed to stand up an entirely new industrial sector. Steve is a commercial aviation professional with 34 years of broad, strategic airline and aviation OEM experience. For the last decade, Steve has been a strong industry advocate who has worked in roles of developing pragmatic solutions to the challenges of aviation growth, and that interest led him to accepting the current CAAFI role in 2012.  He continues to serve in leadership, steering committee, consultancy, and BOD roles with multiple aviation industry organizations in areas of applying technology and business concepts to enable commercial progression with SAF.

Kateryna Derkach is the Strategy and Sustainability Director at the Green Aviation Research and Development Network in Canada (GARDN), a non-profit organization created in 2009 with funding from the Canadian government and the Canadian aerospace industry. GARDN’s mandate is to build research clusters that work together to reduce the environmental impacts of air travel. Kateryna holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and in Strategic Eco Design. She has experience working with sustainable business strategies in the aviation industry, particularly with the emerging sector of SAF.


Pedro Rodrigo Scorza is line captain and senior technical advisor for renewable fuels at GOL Airlines, also acts as Director of Renewables for Aviation at Ubrabio (União Brasileira de Biodiesel e Bioquerosene), member of IATA Sustainability and Environment Advisory Council (SEAC) and of Brazilian Climate Change Forum (FMBC). The executive began his professional career in 1989 and has been working at GOL since 2006. Pedro Scorza is graduated in Business Administration from PUC-RS (Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), has a Master degree in Management from UFRGS (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) and attends Unicamp Ph.D. Program in Bioenergy.


Henrik Erämetsä (M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering) is working as Head of Aviation Regulations, Public Affairs, at Neste.  Henrik is a member of the ABFA (Advanced Biofuel Association) CORSIA Team, Co-chair of the EU FlightPath, and a member of the Board of AIREG, the Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany e.V. Earlier experience with aviation and alternative aviation fuels:  In 2003-04 Henrik was Vice-President, Specialty Products, which included the responsibility for Neste’s aviation fuel retail business in Finland.  During his time as the head of the Houston office in 2004-07, Neste took the first steps into the alternative aviation fuels business by participating in the ASTM standardization process, which then lead to the approval of the first bio based jet fuel commercially available, the “HRJ” or “HEFA” in 2011.  After his return to Finland in 2007, Henrik was as Vice-President, Development, responsible for the development of the BTL (gasification and Fischer-Tropsch) technology together with Stora Enso, using forest residue as feedstock.  This technology was successfully demonstrated in a full process single train. During his second expatriate time in the US in Washington DC in 2014-16, Henrik participated in the activities of ABFA and CAAFI. Within EU, Henrik has earlier been a member of the Steering Committee of EBTP (Biofuels Technology Platform), and one of the industrial members of the EIBI Team, the EIBI Coordination Group and the EIBI Aviation WG.  (EIBI = European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative, one of the industrial initiatives under the Horizon 2020 Plan). Neste is a leading North European refiner with a refinery with both fossil and biofuel production in Finland and biofuel refineries in Singapore and Rotterdam.   Neste is a pioneer and the leading producer of HEFA type SAF.