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Experts join government to work on zero emission flight

Aviation experts and government have formed a new group to work on advancing hydrogen and battery powered planes. 

The Zero Emission Flight (ZEF) Delivery Group will support the development of zero emission aircraft and airport infrastructure.

It will also look into legal adaptations that need to be made to allow for green aviation and aims to make the UK a frontrunner in the shift to sustainable flying.

The group was launched at the fifth meeting of the Jet Zero Council, an advisory forum of experts in aviation, which it will sit under. 

Speaking at the fifth Jet Zero Council meeting, the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said: ‘From the first jet engine created here in the UK, Britain is truly a world-leader in flying. Now we are determined to revolutionise flying and we want to see everyone have the opportunity to travel guilt-free. 

‘We are determined to bring forward the flight technology of the future, and through our new Zero Emission Flight Delivery Group, we will help create thousands of jobs around the country and take another step toward zero emission flights.’ 

The ZEF Delivery Group will be led by expert Rachel Gardner-Poole who has over 20 years experience in military and commercial aviation, both in the private and public sector. 

airplane in midair at daytime

The group will build on the Aerospace Technology institute’s (ATI) FlyZero project, which aims to develop zero-emission aviation by 2030, and the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure project.

Zero Emission Flight Delivery Group Chair, Rachel Gardner-Poole, said: ‘It is a great privilege to be asked to be the Chair of the ZEF Delivery Group and I am committed to the critical work ahead to make zero emission aviation a reality. 

‘I am passionate about using innovation and technology to create a positive impact on our planet and look forward to collectively addressing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of us.

‘The government is investing in aerospace R&D through the ATI Programme and £685 million will be provided over the next 3 years, which was announced in March by the Business Secretary.

‘In addition, the government is providing £125 million (matched by £175 million from industry) of support for Innovate UK’s Future Flight Challenge. The challenge will shortly announce projects successful in its third funding competition including those advancing electric flight technologies that will support the operation of sub-regional aircraft and the UK in reaching its net zero target.’

Photo by Emanu

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