MAG announces prize for first zero-emission flight

Credit: aviationstirling

The winning airline will win five years’ worth of free landing fees, worth over £1 million

MAG has announced that they will be awarding a prize to the first airline to operate a zero-emission commercial flight from one of its airports.

The UK’s largest airport group has recently published its annual CSR report, which consists of a commitment to become a net zero carbon business by 2038. This is 12 years ahead of the UK aviation industry’s goal.

A prize of five years’ worth of free landing fees – worth up to £1.3m – will be awarded to the successful carrier.

Airlines will be able to choose what technology they would like to implement in order to win, including electric and hydrogen.

“At MAG, we have always been ambitious in our approach to sustainability,” said Charlie Cornish, CEO of MAG. “We were the first airport operator in the UK to reach carbon neutrality and we were delighted to join the Government’s Jet Zero Council as a founding member earlier this year.”

“This competition is the next step in that journey, as we work towards reaching net zero ourselves by 2038 and supporting all of UK aviation to get there by 2050.”

Last month, Airbus revealed a three concept ‘ZEROe’ hydrogen powered commercial aircraft. It could be able to carry 200 passengers from the UK across Europe from 2035.

The UK aviation industry’s sustainability group, Sustainable Aviation, have predicted that the first zero emission flight will take place in around 10 to 15 years.

The initiative put forward by MAG will help the industry reach its net zero 2050 target by modernising UK airspace, proving sustainable aviation fuels, introducing smart flight operations and new aircraft technology.

In the coming days, the government’s jet zero council – of which MAG is a founding member – prepares to meet for the second time.

MAG’s CSR report further highlights the work the company has achieved over the previous five years and more specifically over the past 12 months.

Since 2015, MAG has reportedly become the first carbon neutral airport operator in the UK, with a 12% reduction in carbon emissions.

The company has also provided over 120,000 young people with £4m worth of funding for communities, charities and the arts.

Neil Robinson, CSR and Airspace Change Director of MAG, said: “We have a long history of working very closely in our local communities and, for us, sustainability means more than just reducing carbon, it means becoming a business that has long standing, sustainable relationships with our environment, people and communities at all levels.”

Over the course of the pandemic, MAG has donated over 44,000 items to local food charities, and over £100,000 across 54 organisations.