AirTanker’s First Recycling Flight

Category: AirTanker


In October, AirTanker’s first ever on-board recycling flight took place on ZZ330, flying from RAF Akrotiri to RAF Brize Norton.

This means that on all AirTanker flights in-bound to RAF Brize Norton recyclable waste will be able to be segregated so it doesn’t go to landfill. Previously, all on-board waste went to landfill or was incinerated.

According to IATA, over 6.1million tonnes of waste was generated by airlines in 2018. This weight is equal to around 50,000 Voyagers. The on-board recycling project challenges this statistic and, without the collaborative efforts and hard work from people across the Voyager force and Sodexo, it wouldn’t have been possible.

A former 10SQDN Cabin Crew member, was instrumental in setting up the project. “I decided to help implement an on-board recycling project to help offset the pollution air travel creates. I’m very passionate about sustainability and every change, no matter how small, will help the environment in a positive way.

I’m so impressed with the way AirTanker not only supported my idea but pushed others to get involved and really drove it to be a success.”

Driving Change

The project has grown into a lot more than just on-board recycling.

“The on-board recycling project has drawn attention to the types of environmental changes that we can make across AirTanker, and the wider Voyager Force.” Director of Business Change at AirTanker.

“We understand the need to adapt to the growing pressures that are being put on our planet. This recycling campaign is just the start of our renewed focus on our environmental impact.  Building on the recent launch of the Wellbeing programme, we’re bringing together an environmental interest group who will provide fresh leadership on topics such as renewable energy for our offices, a fleet of electric cars for our Engineering team, plus many other things.

I would like to say a huge thank you to all that have been involved in this programme.

Working Together

AirTanker is working closely with RAF Brize Norton and forms part of the stations Sustainability Committee.

Wing Commander Al Scott, 10 Squadron says: “The on-board recycling project chimes well with the campaign at RAF Brize Norton that will reduce the amount of single-use plastics in circulation. Any responsible organisation must be seen to take a lead on reducing our impact on the environment.

Close collaboration between 10 Squadron, 101 Squadron and AirTanker will be required, as it is in so many other areas; we will achieve the most positive impact if we work together to reduce our environmental impact whether it be result of our day-to-day operations whilst in the air or on the ground.”


In the near future, it will also be possible to expand the on-board recycling project beyond RAF Brize Norton. At Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands, a recycling a facility is being built, providing AirTanker with the ability to recycle on both journeys of the South Atlantic Airbridge.