Norfolk’s Charter Operator service, SaxonAir, is at the heart of it all. Alex Durand, the company’s CEO, is taking an industry lead, overseeing drastic action at the facility and working with staff to minimise the operation’s carbon footprint. Having undergone a rigorous programme to upgrade the building and educate its 50+ staff on greener practices, including investment into day-to-day running and even keeping bees, the company is aiming to be a trailblazer in the industry and well on its way to meeting its ambitious targets to be carbon neutral by 2025.
From having initially found the industry reticent to address some of the negative media surrounding the industry, Durand recently spoke at SaxonAir’s ‘Clearing the Air’ event to highlight and debunk notorious misconceptions surrounding aviation. In particular, he drew comparison to over running road works that, after just one-month, equal to SaxonAir’s entire 2019 carbon emission output.
He said: “Whilst the industry is not claiming to be green, it should have a fair chance at addressing its issues and cleaning its act up. When I first embarked on this journey, I found there was very little support, despite optimistic government targets and that many senior industry people felt paralysed by inaction due to sensationalist media headlines. I’m pleased to say it does feel like there has been a huge shift with organisations such BBGA prioritising the issue at its next conference.”
“Along our journey, I have discovered true innovators within the industry, one of whom are local to us, NEBO Air
NEBO Air, based in Beccles, Suffolk is aiming to be the world’s first sustainable, cost-effective micro ‘airline’ with zero CO2 emissions. The pioneering company joined forces with SaxonAir to support the Clearing the Air in mid-September, addressing a number of the mistruths surrounding the industry’s reputation and to celebrate clean innovation within industry.
The company offered delegates a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become of the first twenty people in the world to travel in an all-electric aircraft, the Pipistrel Velis
sharing one of the industry’s most significant developments in the fight against climate change.
Sergei Gratchev, Founder of NEBO Air, said: “The entire aviation community is incredibly excited about this new and rapidly developing project. We are receiving daily correspondence requesting information about specs of the aircraft and charging stations.”
“Airfields across the UK and Europe are sending letters of intent wishing to join the project and enhance our network,” he continued.
“This will soon create a web of electric aircraft charging facilities throughout the UK and beyond allowing Zero Emissions aviation to become a reality. The environmental revolution in aviation and transport has begun!”
NEBO Air’s Velis Electro aircraft Photograph credit: Kerry Wilmot