Smart Transport

£3m for zero-emission flight infrastructure

Zero-emission flight infrastructure has received £3 million of Government funding for research into electric and hydrogen aircraft.

The Jet Zero Council has recieved the first round of funding from the Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure (ZEFI) competition, to support the development of infrastructure required to aid electric and hydrogen aircraft such as charge points for planes.

Part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan, the £3 million fund is set to 'ramp-up' the move towards sustainable flying to support aviation reach net-zero by 2050.

As part of the ZEFI competition, delivered by the Connected Places Catapult – the Government will award businesses and universities around the UK up to £50,000 each to pioneer critical research into infrastructure, such as charge points and hydrogen fuelling tanks, that will enable the mass uptake of electric and hydrogen aircraft.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: "As the first major economy to commit to net-zero by 2050, we’ve gone further than any country in the world to slash our aviation emissions – providing leadership, funding and the framework needed to lead the charge.

"Now is the time for organisations and companies to take advantage of the opportunities we have provided to harness the economic and environmental benefits building back better and greener has to offer."

The Department for Transport (DfT) recently granted additional powers to decarbonise aviation infrastructure as part of the Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill.

The Jet Zero Council meets for the third time today (June 30), bringing together government, representatives from the environmental sector and the aviation and aerospace industry to tackle aviation emissions in line with the government’s ambition to achieve the first ever zero emission long haul passenger plane.

The funding follows after members of the Jet Zero Council, British Airways (BA), carried out net-zero carbon freighter flights powered by a mix of sustainably sourced waste such as cooking oil, according to government. This is set to be the first of many flights with BA ordering 1.2 million litres of the fuel, government said.

The fuel offers emissions savings of more than 80% compared to conventional jet fuel, government claims.

Through the work of its delivery groups and £18 million of new funding, the council has 'led the global charge' on the uptake and development of trailblazing sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs), government said. 

Since the council formed last year, it has provided more thant £20 million of new funding for the decarbonisation of the sector, it said. 

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.


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