Hamburger Menu

Industry News

Sustainable Airways

26 February 2024

Chris Sattler is a small tourism operator at the cutting edge of transportation technology. Flying twin engine planes between Auckland and Waiheke or Great Barrier islands, his company Island Aviation has been offsetting its carbon since 2017.

But Chris’ passion goes further than offsetting – he’s pursuing zero emission aircraft.

Last year Chris’ investigations took him to the UK and Europe, where he met a company that makes hydrogen conversion kits for small planes. He also went to the Orkney Islands, where hydrogen is being created from tidal and wind energy for use at its port and airport.

In New Zealand, hydrogen is being investigated by a consortium of airports and airlines including Air NZ. Electricity is another option, and Air NZ plans to put a battery-powered electric cargo plane into service in 2026.

While Chris is keen to switch to hydrogen, he says it won’t work without others coming to the party to build the infrastructure needed.

“It’s no good if we convert our aircraft to hydrogen, but there’s no hydrogen available at airports or refueling procedures.”

However, he notes growing optimism in Europe that it will be possible to fly at least 10-seater planes over short haul distances in the next five years.

Thanks to our strategic partners

Thanks to our strategic partners

Thanks to our strategic partners