New Jet Zero course takes off

A new educational initiative on sustainable flying for young people has launched at London Stansted.

The airport is offering its Jet Zero curriculum to schools and colleges in the local area as part of its commitment to creating a more sustainable future. 

A class of 30 students from Water Lane Primary School in Harlow took part in the first session this week (Oct 13) at the airport's on-site Aerozone education centre.

Using innovative interactive game technology, the group learned how sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is made and how it will help aviation reach net zero by 2050.

This is just the first part of a planned curriculum, with the second phase launching later this year.

Introducing the curriculum delivers on the airport's owner, MAG, Jet Zero Education pledge – one of five made in July 2022 when the UK Government published its Jet Zero Strategy.

Its other pledges were Jet Zero Research, Jet Zero SAF, Jet Zero Airspace and Jet Zero technology – all of which will contribute to the decarbonisation of the aviation sector.  

The launch comes as MAG, which also owns and operates Manchester and East Midlands Airports, published its annual CSR Report for 2022-23.

The report details the Group’s progress over the last financial year in delivering on its CSR strategy ‘Working together for a brighter future’, published in 2020. 

Aerozone Stansted, which hosts the new curriculum, has seen more than 2,600 students pass through its doors in the last 12 months.

The education facility is a key part of the airport's ‘Opportunity for All’ strategic pillar, which this year also saw the Airport Academy make over 8,670 job referrals, helping local people find employment at the airport.

This year, under the strategy’s ‘Local Voices’ pillar, the airport launched its Youth Forum to hear directly from young people about their views on the sustainable development of the business.

As part of its continued support for the local community, almost £200,000 has been donated to good causes through its newly relaunched Community Fund.

MAG CSR and Airspace Change Director, Neil Robinson said:

“I am so pleased to see our Jet Zero curriculum become a reality this week as the first students learn about the role of Sustainable Aviation Fuel, at the Aerozone.

“We know that grass roots education about a sustainable future for aviation will be integral to the future success of our sector, and we’re delighted to have delivered on this pledge. It will see thousands of young people learn more about the decarbonisation of our industry. 

“We are clear in our commitment to reaching net zero carbon operations by 2038, and to working with airline and industry partners – as well as with Government through the Jet Zero Council – to reach net zero for UK aviation by 2050. 

“We understand just how wide ranging the benefits of international travel are – from tourism and cultural exchange to global trade and investment – and that is why we are dedicated to ensuring that passengers can continue to enjoy them as part of the net zero future of our industry. 

“As we publish our annual CSR report, I am proud of the progress we continue to make across all three of our strategic priorities – ensuring we are playing our part in decarbonisation, providing impactful education and employment opportunities, and listening to our local communities and supporting their causes.” 

Aviation Minister Baroness Vere said:  

“This is fantastic news for the future of UK aviation. Not only will it bring us a step closer to reaching Jet Zero by 2050, but it will also inspire a new generation of talented young people to join the world of sustainable air travel.

“The transition to Jet Zero presents unique opportunities to grow new industries and technologies, while creating jobs. I am delighted that through this initiative students across the country are learning about these opportunities."

MAG’s commitment to creating a more sustainable future is independently recognised.

Most recently the Group retained its five-star GRESB ESG rating, and earlier this year became the only UK airport operator to be named a Financial Times European Climate Leader, for three successive years. 

  • Click here to access the 2023 CSR report.