Jet Zero Council to deliver carbon-free flight

The pioneering partnership between government and the aviation sector to fast-track zero-emission flight has taken its next step forward  with the publication of the group’s members and key aims.

Following the first meeting of the group earlier in the summer, representatives from the UK’s leading aerospace, aviation and technology sectors will work with the UK Government. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Aviation Minister Robert Courts and Business Secretary Alok Sharma will together drive forward the Government’s ambitions for clean aviation.

Industry leaders from Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Shell, Heathrow Airport and British Airways’ parent IAG, will aim to come together as a foundation to the Government plans.  This will include a focus on UK production facilities for sustainable aviation fuels and the acceleration of the design, manufacture and commercial operation of zero-emission aircraft in the UK, helping speed the sector towards a low-carbon future.

Aviation Minister Robert Courts said: “Climate change is one of the greatest challenges faced by modern society, and we know we need to go further and faster if we’re to make businesses sustainable long into the future. That’s why we’re bringing together government, business and investors to reduce emissions in the aviation sector – through innovative technologies, such as sustainable fuels, hybrid and eventually electric planes, we will build a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future for all.”

The council will focus on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and delivering clean growth. It will operate in the context of the UK’s wider target for net zero emissions by 2050 – one of the most ambitious targets in the world.

The partnership will leverage the UK aviation sector, which employs 230,000 people and contributes £33 billion to the UK economy, to effectively tackle emissions while encouraging growth and green innovation. Through this partnership, the UK will go further than ever before in developing the first zero-emission transatlantic passenger aircraft.

The publication of the group’s aims coincided with the Aviation Minister’s visit to Cranfield to witness the world’s first hydrogen-electric passenger plane flight.

ZeroAvia, a leading innovator in decarbonising commercial aviation, completed the flight at the company’s research and development (R&D) facility in Cranfield, England, with the Piper M-class 6-seat plane completing taxi, take-off, a full pattern circuit and landing.  This work has been supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy through the Aerospace Technology Institute Programme.

Business and Industry Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “The UK is unrelenting in its commitment to ensuring a cleaner world for future generations by achieving net zero emissions by 2050 , and making air travel greener will be a huge part of this. This ambitious council will see the government working in tandem with key players from across aviation, aerospace and wider to develop innovations that will catapult aviation to a low-carbon future.”

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