Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has welcomed the launch of the UK government’s Jet Zero strategy and announced a series of new pledges to support the aviation industry in delivering its goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The strategy, launched at the Farnborough Air Show, sets out the UK government’s approach to maintaining the wide-ranging benefits that aviation brings to the UK while reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. The strategy includes an interim target of net zero domestic flights by 2040, a new sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) mandate to ensure at least 10% of jet fuel is SAF by 2030 and a commitment to ensuring at least five SAF plants are under construction by 2025. The five Jet Zero pledges set out by MAG cover a range of issues that will help drive the industry forward toward net zero aviation, including Jet Zero education, research, technology, SAF and airspace.
As part of the Jet Zero education initiative, MAG will develop educational materials for use at its Aerozones and airport academies to improve understanding of how aviation plans to reach net zero. The group will supply these materials to other Jet Zero Council members and to schools in the areas around its three airports. For its contribution to the Jet Zero research, MAG will fund three PhD projects on air travel decarbonization to support the work of the Jet Zero Council. MAG will also launch a new competition offering five years of free landing fees to the first zero-emission aircraft operating transatlantic flights from its airports. Additionally, MAG intends to create a financial incentive as part of its charging arrangements to encourage airlines to go further than the UK SAF mandate on flights from its airports. As part of its Jet Zero Airspace initiative, MAG has also committed to delivering airspace modernization at its airports at the earliest opportunity as a key lever of decarbonization.
The group intends to work closely with government and aviation industry partners to support the Jet Zero charter and deliver on its pledges, which make positive contributions to the delivery of UK aviation’s commitment to reaching jet zero by 2050. The group was a founding member of Sustainable Aviation in 2005 and was one of two airport operators to be founder members of the government’s Jet Zero Council in 2020.
Grant Shapps, the UK government’s transport secretary, said, “The UK is setting an example of the ambition needed to tackle climate change, and the Jet Zero strategy provides a clear path to building a greener aviation sector for generations to come. Crucially, reaching net zero will require the whole industry to pull together. I welcome the commitments MAG has made and look forward to supporting it and the rest of the UK’s aviation sector to be at the forefront of this green revolution.”
Charlie Cornish, CEO of MAG, said, “Decarbonization is one the most important issues facing our society and at MAG we are committed to playing a full role in the aviation industry achieving net zero. The publication of the Jet Zero strategy is an important recognition by the government of the commitments made by our industry for a more sustainable future. With the pledges we have announced today, we will be working even more closely with our industry partners and the UK government through the Jet Zero Council, to make real and measurable progress against the targets we have in place.”
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