Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure programme guides the way for UK aviation net zero

For the UK to hit net zero targets in aviation by 2050, Connected Places Catapult has brought together government, industry and academia to better understand the changes that are required within airport and airfield infrastructure.

Funded by the Department for Transport the Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure (ZEFI) programme has researched into how airports and airfields can prepare for hydrogen-powered and battery electric aircraft. This work is part of the Government’s commitment in the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution to invest in R&D into the infrastructure upgrades required at UK airports to move to battery and hydrogen-powered aircraft. 

Throughout the programme there have been three key streams; a detailed study investigating the requirements for introducing zero emission aircraft into airports. A Transport Research and Innovation Grant: Zero Emission Flight competition supporting UK organisations in R&D for zero emission flight infrastructure. And demonstrations to showcase UK technology and innovation.

Aviation Minister Robert Courts said: “The Government has supported this research into Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure at our airports and airfields. I am passionate for this to be a strong and innovative sector which has sustainability at its heart.”

On 29th March we released ‘The Roadmap to Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure’ which will enable airfields, airports and service providers to understand the different approaches for refuelling and recharging hydrogen and electric aircraft respectively.

Connected Places Catapult have also recently released the Blueprint for Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure, a comprehensive document to serve as a playbook for the industry – helping to understand the changes required to transform aviation and hit zero emission targets.  As well as a Standards Gap Analysis report alongside BSI which set out key findings from a review of global standards to provide recommendations on a standardisation programme that would enable the safe and effective development of ZEFI.

Henry Tse, Executive Director of New Mobility Technologies at Connected Places Catapult said: “The ZEFI programme will help industry understand the changes that are required to transform aviation and its infrastructure to hit net zero targets by 2050.”

Mark Aizlewood, Aviation Sustainability Team Lead at Connected Places Catapult said: “Collaborating with government, industry and academia throughout the ZEFI programme has enabled Connected Places Catapult to gain a better understanding of what is required to hit the targets necessary. The documents we have produced will provide a clearer pathway to the aviation industry and key players.”

Over the coming weeks Connected Places Catapult will be releasing further documents, findings and blogs to support with ZEFI.