Loganair has introduced a new £30,000 community grant scheme dedicated to supporting local renewable energy projects across Scotland.

The Greenskies Community Fund will be released in three instalments of £10,000 with applicants able to access a maximum grant of £5,000 per project.   

The initiative is open to communities across Scotland and will help to establish renewable energy projects such as small-scale wind systems, solar panels, small-scale hydro power, and air source heat pumps. It is not available for funding research or feasibility studies. 

Jonathan Hinkles, CEO, Loganair, said: “We’ve made our position clear. The transport industry as a whole has a duty to address and reduce emissions from every form of travel, and it’s our responsibility as the UK’s largest regional airline to lead the way. 

“Our Greenskies Community Fund will support local renewables projects that not only tackle carbon emissions but also benefit communities by providing power that reduces energy bills. As an airline we are involved in some incredibly exciting and innovative initiatives to decarbonise aviation and we hope our Greenskies Community Fund will encourage the same pioneering spirit in communities across Scotland.” 

Loganair is involved in a wide range of initiatives to manage and mitigate the environmental impact of flying. The fund is the latest stage of Loganair’s Greenskies environmental programme, launched in July 2021 as part of its commitment to become fully carbon neutral by 2040. 

The programme includes the introduction of a mandatory £1 carbon offsetting charge levied on all flights. The money is invested in accredited offsetting schemes certified to the highest international standards of Loganair’s net zero plan. 

For the first phase of Greenskies, Loganair purchased credits from the Albano Machado and Rio dos Índios projects. Based in State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil both schemes are small scale hydro plants which displace fossil fuel energy production in the national grid. The project is certified by the UN under the CDM. 

Additionally, Loganair purchased credits from the Tambopata-Bahuaja biodiversity reserve in Peru, a scheme which is locally run and intended to protect and preserve the rain forest and its biodiversity. The scheme works by helping local farmers transition to high value cocoa production on the fringes of the rain forest, creating an economic and environmental buffer zone and halting deforestation in this area. The scheme is certified to the VCS standard and has restored over 4,000 hectares and planted over one million trees, protected far more and sustained hundreds of local agriculture jobs. 

The airline is the only UK regional carrier participating in the UK Government’s “Jet Zero Council” initiative – launched by the Prime Minister last summer – to de-carbonise air travel. Its involvement recognises a significant programme which has now been ongoing for almost three years to enhance the airline’s environmental performance and work on projects to de-carbonise flying. 

It is also an active partner in three UKRI funded Future Flight projects to design, test and certificate new technology for use in the regional airline sector. There are; Project HEART assessing hydrogen powered aircraft development; Project 2Zero involving battery electric hybrid powered aircraft; and Project SATE based at Kirkwall airport which is developing the infrastructure for future aircraft testing. In addition Loganair is a partner on the ATI funded Project Fresson, led by Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, to convert the Britten-Norman Islander aircraft used on the Orkney inter-isles air services to hydrogen fuel-cell power. 

Trials of Ampaire’s electric battery aircraft took place between Wick and Kirkwall, Loganair’s Orkney base, in August of this year, with the support of Loganair pilots and engineers.