RCA's Green Horizon: Charting a Sustainable Future in Aviation

Andrew Bell, RCA's Chief Executive, outlines the company's dedicated path towards sustainability and the pivotal role regional airports play in the UK's greener aviation landscape.

As RCA's Chief Executive, I've had the privilege of overseeing our transformative journey towards a more sustainable future in aviation.

Our role as a leading regional UK airport operator, connecting British communities through five key airports, carries with it a profound responsibility. We're not just responsible for the 7,000 individuals employed at our facilities across the nation, but also for the wider communities we serve and, indeed, the environment that sustains us all.

The aviation sector faces bigger challenges than most when it comes to plotting a course towards sustainability, but our commitment isn't a mere corporate initiative; it's integral to our vision for RCA.

The recent launch of Project Sequoia by our parent entity, Rigby Group, has both underlined and given further impetus to this commitment. Through this project, we're aiming to achieve net zero carbon emissions from our airport operations by 2040.

It's an ambitious target, but one we're determined to meet.

Our dedication to this project is highlighted by our association with the Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme. It's this global standard that helps guide our efforts and ensures we're on the right track. And while we're proud of our achievements to date, such as hosting the first all-British electric aircraft flight trial from Exeter in 2021, we know there's much work ahead.

The challenges facing major airports, particularly around capacity, present an opportunity for regional airports like ours. We're actively seeking growth opportunities, not just to expand our operations but to demonstrate the potential of regional airports as drivers of sustainable innovation.

Our sustainability milestones, including our ground-breaking collaboration with Cranfield University to promote innovation in aviation and ongoing work alongside key stakeholders such as the UK’s Aviation Minister and the DfT underscore our commitment. However, these milestones are not endpoints; they're very small but significant stepping stones towards the larger goal of a sustainable future for UK aviation.

Doubtless there will be many challenges ahead, and there are equally likely to be many twists and turns ahead as the entire industry strives to build a credible path forward, but as we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of aviation, our dedication to sustainability must remain focused and on point. For anyone serious about creating a positive future for aviation, this is an unavoidable step. The industry is no longer just looking at the skies; we're envisioning a greener, more sustainable future beyond them.


Regional & City Airports
Exeter Airport

T: 01737 823690
E: info@rca.aero

Public Relations

Iain S Bruce

Judy Groves