Reimagining the future of aviation and airports

The next chapter in the story of flight will look very different to the story that unfolded over the last century. And this has huge implications for how we think about places like airports and cities, as well as new modes of aviation.

The Wright brothers first took to the air in 1903. That revolution started with the propeller engine. Only a few decades later the jet age began, and since then aviation has become an absolutely vital part of the global economy, as well as the lives of millions of people.

But what’s really interesting is that our experience of flight – the kind of aircraft we fly in, the routes they take through our airspace, where we need to go in order to get on a plane, and how the airborne goods that we buy to get to us – that hasn’t changed very much over the decades.

Yet it’s starting to change now.

The next chapter in the story of flight will look very different to the story that unfolded over the last century. And this has huge implications for how we think about places such as airports, new modes of flight like electric vehicle take-off and landing or air taxis, electric and hydrogen powered planes, and what sustainable flight looks like as we transition to net zero.

So in this episode, we turn our attention to the future aviation; to the airports, airlines and aeronautical technologies that have been taking us to the skies, and connected us to the wider world, and to each other, for over a century. What is the next century going to look like?

We also meet some of the innovators and industry leaders who are writing that new aviation story, like Captain David Morgan, Interim Chief Operating Officer at easyJet, Prof. Sarah Sharples, Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department for Transport, Arnab Chatterjee, VP – Infrastructure at Zero Avia, Michael Cervenka, President of Vertical Aerospace, Simon Earles, Director of Sustainability & Corporate Affairs at Bristol Airport, and Gary Cutts, Challenge Director at the Future Flight Challenge, and Katy Milne, former Head of Industrial Strategy at Fly Zero.

And, of course, we hear from the Catapult’s Chief Operating Officer, Rachel Gardner-Poole, as well as our Technology Innovation Leads for Aviation, Andrew Chadwick.

Music on this episode is by Phill Ward Music ([/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Show Notes

If you would like to apply to be part of our Future of Air Mobility Accelerator Programme, you have until 11 September to do so. For more information, click here.

To find out more about our Zero Emissions Flight Infrastructure Blueprint, click here, as well as our ZEFI White Paper, click here.

To learn more about 11 SMEs that we’ve been supporting as part of the Future Flight Challenge, click here.

To learn more about the ‘third revolution of flight’ check out a fascinating feature article in our Connected Place Magazine, in which aviation journalist Ben Griffiths looks into aviation’s crystal ball – click here.

You can also learn more about how drones are being deployed in the housing industry, ports and harbours, search and rescue operations, monitoring coastal erosion, as well as the agriculture industry.

You can also access the repository of reports produced by the Fly Zero project, click here.

To download our report on Hubs of Innovation, click here, and you can also read our playbook for place leaders by clicking here.

If you’d like to get in touch with your feedback, comments and suggestions on what you’d like to hear more of on Connected Places, please email: We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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