Budget carrier Ryanair has donated €1.5 million to help launch the Ryanair Sustainable Aviation Research Centre in partnership with Trinity College Dublin.

The money will fund a research team to investigate sustainable aviation fuels, zero carbon aircraft propulsion systems and noise mapping.

The project starts this summer and will employ six people.

The findings will help the European Union and international governments develop policies to make aviation environmentally and economically sustainable.

Ryanair aims to power 12.5% of its flights with sustainable aviation fuels by 2030.

It says this goal, together with investment in new Boeing ‘Gamechanger’ aircraft, will “significantly reduce its CO2 and noise footprint over the next decade”.

Thomas Fowler, Ryanair’s sustainability director, said: “This €1.5 million donation by Ryanair to help open Ireland’s first Sustainable Aviation Research Centre is a hugely exciting project and an important pillar of our environmental targets, supporting our goal to power 12.5% of flights with sustainable aviation fuels by 2030.

“As Europe’s largest airline, we have a responsibility to minimise our impact on the environment, to make flying greener and lead our industry towards a more sustainable way of flying while keeping our fares low and affordable for all EU families.”

Dr Patrick Prendergast, provost of Trinity College Dublin, added: “The critical need for humanity to meet the great challenge of our time – climate change – demands new thinking on every front.

“Our multi-disciplinary teams of scientists and engineers in Trinity’s new Sustainable Aviation Research Centre will tackle important questions such as how to reduce aircraft emissions with sustainable aviation fuels, electric propulsion, and reduced noise.”

Pictured from left: Neil Sorahan, chief financial officer at Ryanair Group; Thomas Fowler, sustainability director at Ryanair; and Dr Patrick Prendergast, provost of Trinity College Dublin.