South West firms lead the way in aviation green campaign
A group of leading companies in the South West aviation and renewable energy sectors has established a new green alliance.
The group includes EasyJet, Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Ørsted, GKN Aerospace and Bristol Airport and the aim of the Hydrogen in Aviation (HIA) alliance is to accelerate the delivery of zero carbon aviation.
The HIA will work to ensure the UK capitalises on the huge opportunity hydrogen presents to both the aviation industry and country as a whole.
Airbus is developing new hydrogen powered aircraft with the aim of entering commercial service from 2035 and Rolls-Royce has already proven that hydrogen could power a jet engine following successful ground tests in 2022.
And many smaller operators are making rapid progress on hydrogen-powered aircraft, notably ZeroAvia and Universal Hydrogen who have already carried out flight tests.
HIA will work with government, local authorities, and the aviation and hydrogen sectors to enable the UK to fulfil its potential as a global leader in this critical application of hydrogen technology.
This includes setting out the pathway for scaling up the infrastructure and the policy, regulatory and safety frameworks needed so that large scale commercial aviation can become a reality.
The alliance will set out that government needs to be focused on three key areas which are; supporting the delivery of the infrastructure needed for the UK to be a global leader; ensuring the aviation regulatory regime is hydrogen ready; and transforming the funding for hydrogen aviation R&D support into a 10 year programme, if the UK is to see the economic benefits and meet decarbonisation targets.
Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet and first Chair of HIA, said: “There is no doubt that the UK has the potential to become a world leader in hydrogen aviation, which could bring with it a £34bn per annum boost to the country’s economy by 2050, but in order to capture this opportunity, rapid change is needed and the time to act is now.
“We must work together to deliver the radical solutions required for a hard to abate industry like aviation so we can protect and maximise the benefits that it brings to the UK economy and society and that we know British consumers want to be preserved.
“HIA looks forward to working with the UK Government to ensure the right funding, regulatory and policy changes are implemented to accelerate the delivery of zero carbon aviation.”
Dave Lees, CEO of Bristol Airport, said: “We’re proud to be part of this new alliance, coming together to call for action now so hydrogen flight can become a reality in the future. The potential opportunities of hydrogen flight are huge – most of Bristol Airport’s routes could be served by zero emissions aircraft and our region is uniquely positioned to become a global centre for the new technology, creating thousands of new aerospace jobs.”