Green aviation government-backed with £273m

Could solar-powered planes and NHS drones be the future?

Big Zero Report 2023

The government will provide £273 million to fund low carbon aerospace innovation – including solar-powered aircraft and NHS treatment drones.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will make the announcement later today, which the government estimates will create 8,800 new jobs.

Using electric drones to survey hazards, distribute medical treatments and patrol motorways – is one of the areas of focus of these new projects.

The developers claim that this would not only cut the carbon footprint of this type of work but also quicken the process, with drones not needing to wait in traffic jams.

Overall, 31 competition winners will share the funding – including a company looking to develop lower weight plane wings to build ‘carbon composite’ wings.

A drone ambition statement is also set to be published today, which will reveal how drones could add £45 billion to the economy by 2030.

Mr Kwarteng comments: “Today’s package of support will further this recovery and help the sector seize on the enormous opportunities for growth that exist as the world transitions to cleaner forms of flight.

“Through funding for the latest in green technology, such as solar and hydrogen powered aircraft, and setting out our vision for the fast-growing market for commercial drones, we are once again placing the aerospace sector directly at the centre of our plans to deliver jobs and grow the economy.”

Robert Courts, Transport Minister, added: “Integrating drones into our transport system will play a huge part in better connecting communities, from potentially delivering vital NHS treatments in isolated communities to capturing high quality aerial imaging for rescue teams.”

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