Eastbourne Model Flying Club have made known their support for Deanland's offsetting scheme by donating towards it.
Pictured is Shaun Clay from EMFC handing over a cheque for £100 to Charles Price of Deanland Airfield. The money was kindly donated by the members towards Deanland's carbon offset scheme.
EMFC have been flying model aircraft of all types (increasingly more are electric) since 1965.
Following the closure of the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow, it can have escaped the notice of very few people that our planet is now gripped by climate change. This change is readily apparent in our own local climate as we continue to experience new peak highs and lows of temperature and rainfall and our weather patterns become more unpredictable.
Global aviation accounted for 2.5% of worldwide CO2 emissions1 in 2020 and General and Light Aviation contributed a tiny percentage of that amount. However, for a past time which pays such a close interest in the weather, Deanland Airfield and its residents felt that any gains available through carbon offsetting were worth grasping. Given this, the airfield and residents are committed to positively contributing to the effects their light aircraft have on the overall environment.
There are several solutions that can be used to fight the effects of climate change. One of the best methods of doing so is to lower the overall level of carbon in the atmosphere. The best way to do this would be to stop using aircraft with engines which run on hydrocarbons such as UL91 and unleaded petrol. Unfortunately, unlike the motor industry, the technology for this type of aircraft is not yet available and will likely not be so for some time to come. Indeed, it was only in July 2021 that the UK Ministry of Defence released a competition to build a new zero emission training aircraft with design criteria similar to that of most light aviation aeroplanes - given the lack of commercially available products. With this limitation, and to enable us to continue flying, the only other viable solution is to ‘offset’ the carbon emissions by planting new trees in a volume large enough to absorb all the CO2 released from the aircraft - calculated at c. 7,000 trees per year to cover the entirety of Deanland’s flying hours.
To make this aspiration a reality, Deanland Airfield has now teamed up with Ecologi, an organisation working globally to help individuals and companies counter the climate crisis. Ecologi have tree planting projects all over the world, from Brazil to Uganda to Indonesia and also support the world’s best climate crisis solutions. Deanland Airfield has pledged that since the start of 2021 all flying hours conducted by Deanland based aircraft will have their carbon footprint offset. In fact the airfield will go further than carbon neutral and will fund the planting of additional trees to cover a further 10% of the carbon emissions aiming to be the UK’s first carbon negative airfield.
Deanland Airfield have already contributed to the planting of 6,000 trees since January 2021. That number will substantially increase by the end of the year when our final flying hours have been calculated. The airfield will make the carbon offsetting contribution with or without donations from its residents, however take up to date has been staggering with all residents canvassed reacting positively and pledging to donate for every hour flown; demonstrating the importance aviation enthusiasts place on the environment. Further to this, Deanland Airfield will also support local planting with additional trees being planted around the airfield over the coming years.
To our knowledge, Deanland is the only airfield in the UK that has committed to offsetting its carbon footprint. We hope others will follow in due course.
1. When ‘effective radiative forcing’ is taken into account, the relative impact of the entire aviation sector was assessed as 3.5% in 2020.
2. Searching the skies for zero emissions training aircraft. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/searching-the-skies-for-zero-emissions-training-aircraft
3. It is important to note that ‘carbon negative’ only refers to the 110% offsetting of light aircraft flying hours.
Deanland 2021 Remembrance
On this year, the centenary of the Royal British Legion, Deanland Airfield remembers all those who have given their lives in defence of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.
Air Ambulance Donation
Deanland Airfield and Eastbourne & District Model Flying Club recently made a donation to Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex and received the following reply.
Deanland Weather by Carl Meek