Air Transport Infrastructure Sustainability Action Plan

Aviation is one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonise due to the higher power demands of aircraft and extreme environments in which they operate; these present significant technical challenges to replacing fossil fuels. We are, however, witnessing the emergence of novel (and zero emission) propulsion aircraft which can support the decarbonisation of the sector. This has been identified in the Government’s Ten Point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution “To support the emergence of a market in zero emission we will invest in R&D into the infrastructure upgrades required at UK airports to move to battery and hydrogen aircraft.”

Connected Places Catapult has identified that there is an excellent opportunity for aviation to deliver near and medium-term opportunities to address sustainability of the air transport system, separate to the development of new fuels, and complementary to our other work on aviation decarbonisation.

Working with aviation industry, government, and academic stakeholders, Connected Places Catapult has developed an Action Plan aimed to help the industry identify and deliver those near and medium-term opportunities to address sustainability, focusing on the overall aviation ecosystem, including the physical, digital, and charging infrastructure.

The Air Transport Infrastructure Sustainability Action Plan also aims to provide a focus for Connected Places Catapult future aviation sustainability research and is intended to complement wider Government initiatives including Aerospace Technology Institute, UKRI Future Flight Challenge and Smart Aviation, Heart of the South West HPO.