The UK government is stepping up its campaign to achieve the target of making airport operations net-zero for emissions by 2040.
The aviation industry is being asked how this goal for reducing emissions from airports in England can be achieved as part of the UK’s Jet Zero strategy, which was launched in July 2022 and aims for the country’s aviation sector to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
The government has also announced its latest round of funding for hydrogen and electric flight technology projects through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) programme, which supports the development of new zero-carbon and ultra-low-emission aircraft.
Transport secretary Mark Harper said the latest funding would help to “define the future of flying” and put the UK at the “forefront of international aviation”.
“As well as developing the next generation of aircraft, it’s also crucial we make the sector greener on the ground, and the call for evidence we’re launching today will help us gather evidence on how airports can reach zero emissions by 2040,” said Harper.
The latest projects to receive funding from the ATI programme include zero-emission hydrogen engine developments being led by manufacturer Rolls-Royce and work by Vertical Aerospace on a prototype propulsion battery system, which could power electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
Grazia Vittadini, chief technology officer at Rolls-Royce plc, said: “ATI funding enables us and our partners to deliver these exciting projects that are critical to the delivery of the zero carbon element of our net-zero roadmap and will help position the UK as a leader on the pathway to more sustainable flight.”
The UK government has promised to provide £685 million to the ATI programme between 2022 and 2025, which will rise to more than £1 billion with co-funding of projects by the aviation industry.
The ATI programme, which is currently set to run to 2031, has already backed the development of hydrogen-electric aviation projects, including ZeroAvia’s new 19-seat aircraft which made its maiden flight in January.