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The first EU carbon-neutral flight school - meet Quality Fly

Download: Printable PDF Date: 15 Nov 2022 06:48 (UTC) category:
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The first EU carbon-neutral flight school - meet Quality Fly - Maintenance / Trainings publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova
Country: Spain Aircraft: Airplanes

Starting in 2022, Quality Fly has become carbon-neutral. How? By reducing carbon footprint and offsetting the remaining emissions through investments in clean energy projects. This is how they became the first flight school in Spain and one of the very few in Europe that offer carbon-neutral integrated and modular commercial pilot programmes.

This milestone moves the flight school one step closer to the long-term goal of becoming a zero-emissions flight school. It applies to all flight programmes, requires no additional investment by the student and maintains Quality Fly at the forefront of European sustainable aviation. It also complements previous improvements consolidated in the last years. Some of those related to environmental responsibility are:

  • The fleet has been fully renewed, thanks to considerable investments, by replacing the older generation fleet with comparable, modern aircraft that cut fuel consumption and emissions by as much as 50% on a per-hour basis.
  • The student journey has become entirely paperless, from enrolment to ground training, flight operations and license issuance, saving several kilograms of paper and ink every day.
  • More recently, Quality Fly has started to acquire 100% renewable electricity from clean energy producers, effectively reducing our office and administration climate impact to near zero. As in other European countries, the origin of this electricity is verified by independent auditors.
  • As soon as the technology becomes fully operational, Quality Fly is determined to replace the carbon offsetting for a full 100% electric fleet.

What is carbon neutrality?

Carbon neutrality is a condition in which an individual or a company reduces its carbon footprint to zero. Carbon footprint refers to the emission of greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide, methane or nitrous oxide, among others) derived from the activity of this person or organisation. This can be achieved through a variety of measures:

  • Reducing emissions: this can be done, for example, by improving the efficiency of the operations, removing unnecessary processes or using clean sources of energy.
  • Offsetting emissions: since not all emissions can always be eliminated, the remaining carbon footprint may be compensated by supporting environmental projects that either prevent further emissions or directly absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. Some examples of these are renewable energy production, reforestation or carbon capture, among others.

How Quality Fly achieves carbon neutrality

Quality Fly is constantly working on efficiency and overall improvements. Some of them have already been outlined above, such as the fleet renewal, the paperless transition and the 100% renewable electricity.

Juan Cervero, CEO of Quality Fly,commented: “Since the flight training activity necessarily implies direct emissions, at least until electric aircraft are finally available and offer comparable capabilities, some emissions cannot be eliminated. Quality Fly has decided to voluntarily offset them by investing in clean energy projects in developing countries, namely India, which not only compensate for our carbon footprint, but also have a positive social and economic impact in the region. These projects include solar, wind and hydropower electricity generation. They are channelled through the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and verified by independent auditors using international standards.

For full transparency and accountability, Quality Fly estimates full-year figures for 2022 of more than 4,000 flight hours flown, or roughly 93,000 litres of gas used (Mogas or Avgas). This results in emissions of about 210-220 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. The clean energy investments Quality Fly has made will save 240 tonnes of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, fully offsetting our direct emissions and energy usage (scopes 1 and 2), as certified in this official Voluntary Cancellation Certificate issued by the UNFCCC:

From carbon neutral to Zero emissions

Carbon neutrality is a further step towards a fully sustainable flight training world. It is feasible right now, both technically and economically, so there is no good reason to settle for less. However, it is by no means the end.

David Verdeguer, project manager, said: “Looking forward, we will keep assessing further options to improve our training and to reduce our climate footprint, both in the short and long term. We are particularly excited about the ongoing development efforts in areas such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and hybrid and electric aviation”.



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