Life would not be possible without our planet’s precious ecosystem. With climate change a growing concern, you might be thinking about the environmental impact of the products you buy and the services you use. Like you, we care about protecting the environment and ensuring we minimise our contribution to greenhouse gases and non-recyclable waste.
To set your mind at ease, we’re sharing our environmental policy so you can have confidence in the work we do on your behalf.
Aura Flights recognises the importance of environmental protection and is committed to complying with all relevant environmental legislation, regulations and appropriate codes of conduct in order to minimise the negative impact of its operations on the environment.
Aura Flights will foster environmental awareness and understanding in all employees, suppliers, subcontractors and clients. Where practicable, the company will provide information and assistance to clients on environmental issues arising from its products and services.
The following practices have been adopted on every launch:
Except where it is required for safety reasons, Hydrogen gas is used over helium to provide the lifting force. Helium is non-renewable, is resource-intensive to mine and it is in high demand as it has important medical applications. Hydrogen is more cost-efficient and is a renewable resource whose manufacture produces minimal hazardous or toxic by-products.
All equipment launched is recovered after every flight.
All electronics on the launch vehicle are powered using rechargeable power sources.
All launches are conducted from private or discreet sites with permission from the landowner or relevant authority, to minimise disruption to local businesses and members of the public.
We select launch days with the shortest possible flight paths to minimise distance travelled in company vehicles.
Furthermore, wherever possible, Aura Flights is committed to the following practices to reduce waste of natural resources:
We use reusable, recyclable or renewable materials in launch craft construction.
We manufacture components in-house using low-impact manufacturing solutions, including FDM 3D printing and CNC machining.
We design and manufacture equipment for long-lasting use and reuse.
We follow a digital-first documentation policy. Any paperwork, records or correspondences are created and stored digitally unless physical versions are required, minimising the use of paper.
Finally, the most common environmental query from clients and the public relates to the use and disposal of balloons. This is largely due to concerns around the impact of party balloons, which do not degrade and can be eaten by animals who mistake them for food – the primary example of this is one case which frequently circulates on the internet as evidence of the dangers of mass balloon releases, of a sea turtle which was found with a party balloon knot lodged in its digestive tract.
Our balloons are substantially different to party balloons. They are designed to burst in thin ribbons which remain attached to the neck of the balloon. The overwhelming majority of balloon materials are recovered and disposed of safely after every flight.
Occasionally, small fragments (less than 5cm2 in area) separate from the main canopy and are unrecoverable. Because of their size and shape, they are far less likely to be eaten by an animal; if this does happen, their organic chemical makeup means that they will pass quickly and harmlessly through the animal’s digestive tract, with no long-term effects.
Unlike party balloons, our balloons are made from undyed natural latex, which is non-toxic and degrades at the same rate as an oak leaf. They will leave no inorganic traces and the latex contains natural nutrients which will add to the fertility of the soil where they land.
Visit our FAQ section if you have any further questions.