Manchester is to become the first airport in the UK to have a direct feed of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), thanks to a new partnership.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Fulcrum BioEnergy, which will support the development and delivery of SAF produced at a new waste-to-fuels biorefinery in Stanlow, Cheshire.

Neil Robinson, CSR and airspace change director at MAG, said: “This really is a landmark moment in our journey towards a decarbonised aviation sector. By working towards a future supply of SAF direct to Manchester Airport via existing pipelines from a local refinery, we’re making sustainable operations accessible for airlines based here.

“The introduction of SAF is testament to the innovation we have seen, and the collaboration between airports, airlines, the government and suppliers like Fulcrum to achieve real progress towards our goal of net zero for UK aviation by 2050.”

Fulcrum and MAG’s partnership will work to deliver on the opportunity SAF presents to decarbonise the aviation industry. The collaboration could see up to 10% of the fuel used by aircraft at Manchester Airport replaced with SAF within five years of the Fulcrum NorthPoint facility becoming operational.

The partnership will also work to support a sustainable recovery from the pandemic, promoting green skills and jobs across the region.