UK pledges £113 million to bring in zero-emission flights
Author: Adam Gavine
Cutting-edge technologies that could enable hydrogen-powered aircraft and electric-powered flying taxis could be a step closer to entering service, following the announcement by the Business and Transport Secretaries of a £113 million investment to develop such R&D in the UK. Through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme, the UK Government and industry are jointly backing new zero-carbon technologies to open up a future of what they call “guilt-free flying”. Initiatives include a project by Bristol-based electric aircraft manufacturer, Vertical Aerospace, to develop high-end, lightweight batteries, as well as projects led by Rolls-Royce to develop the basis of a liquid hydrogen combusting jet engine, which would enable aircraft to fly without carbon emissions. The projects that gain financial backing will also help secure thousands of jobs across the supply chain and hundreds of millions more pounds in private investment across the UK, growing the country’s economy. The investment will be announced at the seventh meeting of the Jet Zero Council, a partnership between government and industry set up to fast-track ambitions for zero-emission flight by 2050 through investment and focus on advanced technologies and sustainable aviation fuels, as laid out in the Jet Zero Strategy. The Council is leveraging the UK’s aerospace and aviation sectors, which pre-pandemic employed 230,000 people in the UK and contributed £22 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy, to effectively tackle emissions while encouraging growth and green innovation.