Published on April 29th, 2021 | by Alan Dwyer


Ryanair & Trinity College Launch SAF Centre

Trinity College Dublin in partnership with Ryanair has announced the launch of the Ryanair Sustainable Aviation Research Centre. This landmark initiative has been made possible by a €1.5m donation by the airline which Trinity will use to seed a multi-disciplinary research team to engage in best-in-class research around Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), Zero Carbon Aircraft Propulsion Systems and Noise Mapping. This new knowledge will inform the policies of both EU and international governments on making aviation environmentally and economically sustainable, as well as harness future investments by the aviation industry towards sustainability. The project, which will employ six people, is due to commence in Summer 2021. Ryanair believes that aviation must play a leading role in addressing climate change, and is placing an increased emphasis on mitigating how its business impacts the environment. By 2030, Ryanair’s goal is to power 12.5% of its flights with sustainable aviation fuels. The introduction of the Boeing 737-8200 is now expected from next month following further delays in recent weeks when the aircraft was expected. This will add to the fuel efficiency of the fleet in the years ahead.

Sustainability and Low Carbon Technologies are a key thrust of new knowledge generation at Trinity. This partnership will become part of E3 – the Engineering, Environment and Emerging Technologies initiative at Trinity College Dublin, which is tackling complex, global problems, such as those faced by the aviation industry. This Gold Standard research will seek to develop sustainable solutions for an industry striving towards a profitable, carbon neutral future, with greener offerings for their customers and a liveable planet for all.

Commenting on the new partnership with Trinity, Ryanair’s Director of Sustainability, Thomas Fowler, said, “This €1.5m donation by Ryanair to help open Ireland’s first Sustainable Aviation Research Centre is a hugely exciting project and an important pillar of our environmental targets, supporting our goal to power 12.5% of flights with sustainable aviation fuels by 2030. As Europe’s largest airline, we have a responsibility to minimise our impact on the environment, to make flying greener and lead our industry towards a more sustainable way of flying while keeping our fares low and affordable for all EU families. This partnership with Trinity College Dublin seeks to inform and improve future investment by the aviation industry to secure a carbon neutral future for aviation and noise reduction through investment in new technologies. We look forward to working with Associate Professor Stephen Dooley, Professor Stephen Spence and their teams, as they engage in much-sought-after research around Sustainable Aviation Fuels, Zero Carbon Aircraft Propulsion Systems and Noise Mapping for low noise aircraft fleets in the hope that the industry will have the knowledge to invest confidently in sustainable fuels and technology going forward.”

Also commenting was Dr Patrick Prendergast, Provost of Trinity College Dublin who said, “The critical need for humanity to meet the great challenge of our time – climate change – demands new thinking on every front. Science and technological research has a vital role to play in finding balanced solutions for a better world and E3 is Trinity’s farsighted response to this demand. Using emerging technologies, our multi-disciplinary teams of scientists and engineers in Trinity’s new Sustainable Aviation Research Centre will tackle important questions such as how to reduce aircraft emissions with sustainable aviation fuels, electric propulsion, and reduced noise and we are delighted to welcome Ryanair, which has committed itself to be Europe’s cleanest and greenest airline, onboard as we explore these exciting new horizons.”

With COVID restrictions being very slowly lifted across Europe for this summer and rollout of a Vaccine Passport still some months away, Ryanair have now put flights on sale for summer 2022. Up to 10,000 flights across 500 routes can now be booked as far as October 2022.

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