Zero Emissions Flight Infrastructure Standards Gap Analysis

Airport infrastructure must rapidly evolve to enable net-zero aviation by 2050 and ensure the UK leads in zero emission aviation systems. Commercial use of hydrogen and electric aircraft is important to the UK’s goals for reaching net zero aviation by 2050. These new aircraft will increasingly be used alongside existing and sustainable aviation fuels at our airports and airfields.


The Government’s Ten Point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution aims:

“To support the emergence of a market in zero emission aircraft we will invest in R&D into the
infrastructure upgrades required at UK airports to move to battery and hydrogen aircraft”

What is ZEFI?


The Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure (ZEFI) Project was set up to explore the impact and requirements
for introducing hydrogen and electrically powered aircraft into airports in three scenarios: 

  • General Aviation (GA) airfield: battery charging/swapping requirements for GA aircraft.  
  • Medium-sized regional airport: hydrogen refuelling, electric aircraft recharging, battery swapping, maintenance and possible storage solutions for regional aircraft. 
  • Major commercial airport: hydrogen refuelling for regional, short-haul and long-haul operation. 
Standards analysis

The project is comprised of a detailed study in the form of an Operational Concept, Airport Systems Analysis, Roadmapping and a Standards Gap Analysis.


This study aims to summarise the broad range of infrastructure, technology, operations and people changes that will be required across the industry to support the introduction of Zero Emission Aircraft to UK airports.


Our work on standards will explore the global standards landscape to understand the actions needed to
ensure UK industry has the standards needed to support the transition to net zero aviation, including the
handling of hydrogen and electricity. We will be assessing which current standards are relevant to hydrogen fuelling and battery charging/swapping at airports, and identifying the gaps between these and what will be needed in future.


In the immediate term, this work will Identify demonstrations and technology enhancement to support
further standards development. The overall desired impact is to help break-down barriers to wider adoption and roll-out of zero emission flight infrastructure at airports.


The British Standards Institution (BSI), the UK’s National Standards Body has been commissioned
to provide a comprehensive global standards analysis to help achieve the objectives above. BSI brings expertise on the national and international standards landscape, drawing on best practice from the world of aviation and other parallel industries.


Connected Places Catapult will be engaging with industry and academia as part of this standards work. Please let us know if you would like to get involved by contacting the ZEFI team via email zefi@cp.catapult.org.uk