Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure – Preparing UK airports for zero emission aircraft

The Government committed 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 aircraft. Connected Places Catapult is working with the Department for Transport on this Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure project and we are keen to hear from all companies, universities and research organisations with an interest in participating.

The focus of the study is hydrogen and electric (battery) aircraft, although interoperability with kerosene and Sustainable Aviation Fuels will be considered given our expectation of a phased transition towards zero emission flight. We are exploring a range of use cases, from general aviation airfields to major commercial airports, looking at their existing infrastructure, and adaption requirements for new forms of electric aircraft.  

As part of the project we will deliver a research innovation grants programme providing opportunities for UK organisations.  

The Sustainable Aviation Transport Research and Innovation Grants (TRIG) competition will launch shortly. We will be offering funding to organisations developing technologies to advance the move to zero emission flight. Prior to the competition launch, we are seeking expressions of interest from UK companies and universities with developing innovative technology or research expertise in these areas:

  • Hydrogen storage, handling, aircraft refuelling/defueling, distribution, and associated technologies
  • Electric charging, storage, handling, batteries, electric distribution, and associated technologies
  • Research into future demand scenarios for airside use of green hydrogen and electricity at UK airports.

Also, a series of demonstrations will be performed during the project, to build our understanding of the use of hydrogen and batteries in airside environments. This will inform the project analysis and provide high profile demonstration opportunities for UK companies.

We are seeking details of services, products, and equipment that are ready for testing within the demonstration phase of the programme.

The expression of interest is now closed, we will be launching the competition soon. Please check back for updates.

The project seeks to identify the opportunities and challenges from adopting new fuels at airports,  integrating their use with existing aviation fuels, develop a roadmap to identify actions and investments needed and synergies between the adoption of battery and hydrogen usage in aviation and other sectors of the economy.   

If you have any questions about the project please contact us at: zefi@cp.catapult.org.uk