Sustainable aviation should be at the heart of UK’s green recovery plan

Industry asks the government to support sustainable aviation fuel projects by committing £500m

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An aviation coalition has called for sustainable flight to be at the heart of the government’s green recovery plan post the pandemic.

The Sustainable Aviation coalition, whose members include Heathrow Airport, Airbus and British Airways, wants government to support sustainable fuel projects. They want a commitment of £500 million to develop aircraft and engine technology, ensuring the UK is among the first in the world to develop hybrid and electric aircraft.

The industry also believes carbon offset measures and carbon removal technologies should be prioritised and this could help the country bounce back from Covid-19.

Adam Morton, Chair of Sustainable Aviation, commented: “In February this year, UK aviation committed to net zero emissions by 2050 and laid out a plan to achieve this through investing in cleaner aircraft and engine technology, smarter flight operations, sustainable aviation fuels and high-quality carbon offsets and removals.

“Three months on, these actions all remain essential to delivering sector wide decarbonisation, particularly given the role UK aviation can play as an engine for rebuilding the economy.

“But to capitalise on these opportunities, we need urgent action from the government, particularly to support the commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuel technology in the UK.”

A Department for Transport (DfT) spokesperson said: “While our current priority is fighting coronavirus we must continue to address longer-term challenges such as climate change and improving air quality and we are working with the sector on potential further measures.

“We support the aviation sector’s ambition of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and have made £20 million of capital funding available to develop low carbon aviation projects while rewarding the use of sustainable aviation fuels through the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation scheme.”