Nicola Sturgeon has announced that Glasgow Science Centre is to become home to the first Newton Flight Academy outside of Norway.

Due to open in the spring of 2022, the academy will teach students aviation-related STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) concepts and include three full-motion flight simulators.

The First Minister’s announcement was made as she opened the Boeing Innovation Forum at Glasgow Airport which is designed to bring together partners in Scotland and the broader aviation sector to show the role sustainable technologies can play in the future of aviation.

The state-of-the-art Glasgow Newton Room space will be used to deliver immersive, experiential learning programmes that will enable students to engage in real-world challenges by working together with industry professionals, and will include the experience of flying in state-of-the-art flight simulators.

The programmes will cover themes including space, biofuels, and advanced materials and manufacturing. These will be delivered in partnership with the University of Strathclyde.

Sturgeon said: “Delegates from around the world will start to arrive in Glasgow for COP26 in a matter of weeks. The summit is the world’s best chance – and possibly one of our last chances – to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

“We need to find ways to decarbonise air travel if we are to achieve that goal while rebuilding connectivity, and that needs international collaboration between governments and industry.”

She continued: “Only by maximising the opportunities in front of us ­– research and development; inspiring young people to consider STEM careers in Scotland and further afield; and testing out sustainable technologies – can we endeavour to leave a planet that future generations can be proud of.

“Every step is an investment in our young people’s future, and innovations like Boeing’s Glasgow Newton Flight Academy enable young people to join us on this crucial journey and discover the fascinating learning and career opportunities a net-zero society creates.” 

The academy is made possible through funding from Boeing and is being developed in partnership with First Scandinavia.

In 2018, Boeing invested more than £3.5 million to set up a network of STEM-focused Newton Rooms around Europe and the Glasgow one will be the first full academy outside of Norway when it opens in the spring of 2022.

Martin Donnelly, president of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing in the UK and Ireland, said: “When we signed the Boeing Scotland Alliance almost two years ago we wanted to work in many locations and sectors, to combine the best of what Boeing can offer with the world-class supply chain, startups, universities and research centres in Scotland.”

Boeing partnered with ADS, British Airways, Glasgow Airport, Loganair, Menzies Aviation, Scottish Development International, Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise on the forum, and dozens more were represented in the supplier showcase and through panel discussions.

The aim of the Boeing Innovation Forum is to explore new opportunities in Scotland with the aim of doubling Boeing’s supply chain and creating 200 new quality jobs in five years.