Manchester Airport announces Jet Zero sustainability programme teaching local school pupils about the future of flying

Thousands of young people from across the North West will learn about the sustainable future of flying, thanks to a new education programme being delivered at Manchester Airport’s AeroZone.

Starting in the next academic year, the Northern hub’s sustainability experts will deliver ‘Jet Zero Education’ lessons at the on-site AeroZone educational facility to dozens of schools from their surrounding areas.

Through the use of interactive technology, the curriculum will primarily focus on the role Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) will play in the decarbonisation of aviation.

Students will learn how SAF is produced, and the benefits it will bring in reducing aircraft emissions which will help meet the aviation industry’s target of net zero by 2050.

The announcement of the Jet Zero curriculum comes as the Government marks one year since the publication of its Jet Zero Strategy, which MAG supported by creating five Jet Zero Pledges, including Jet Zero Education, to support the industry’s decarbonisation targets.

Neil Robinson, CSR and Airspace Change Director for Manchester Airports Group (MAG), said: “I am pleased to announce today that our Jet Zero Education programme will start in the new academic year.

“Our AeroZone works with young people from an early age to educate and inspire them about the world of aviation and the opportunities it could present to them.

“This initiative is a valuable extension of that, teaching the future generation of aviation professionals about the importance of a transition to net zero air travel, and inspiring them about the role they can play in the delivering that.

“The Jet Zero Strategy continues to play an important part in bringing the sector together and, as today’s announcement shows, MAG is wholly committed to delivering on all of the pledges we made 12 months ago.

“As a founding member of the Jet Zero Council, we are proud to be working collaboratively with Government to drive the industry’s transition to net zero by 2050.”

Manchester Airport’s AeroZone was opened in February 2022 by Mayor Andy Burnham, and follows the model of the popular AeroZone facility at its sister airport London Stansted, which has been welcoming pupils since 2010. More than 3,500 school pupils benefitted in its first year.

MAG believes that education from an early age plays an integral role in supporting sustainability in the aviation sector, and that by helping the next generation understand the importance of decarbonisation, future industry professionals will continue to drive the agenda.

Alongside its commitment to an education programme, the airport has also made progress on its other pledges across the year. Its Jet Zero Technology competition is offering five years’ free landing fees to the first zero-emission aircraft operating transatlantic flights, and it has made significant progress with its Jet Zero Airspace pledge, passing the ‘Stage 2’ gateway of the Government’s airspace modernisation scheme earlier this year.

MAG’s other pledges included Jet Zero Research, which will fund three PhD projects focused on aviation decarbonisation, and Jet Zero SAF which will create a financial incentive to encourage airlines to exceed the UK’s SAF mandate.

Manchester Airport has established partnerships with Fulcrum BioEnergy UK and Hynet, which could make it the first UK airport with direct supplies of both SAF and Hydrogen respectively.

MAG’s CSR Strategy ‘Working together for a brighter future’ is supporting the Group to make its own operations net zero by 2038, in line with the 2040 target set by the Government in the Jet Zero Strategy last year.