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The UK has announced its ambition to deliver the world’s first net-zero emissions transatlantic flight in 2023.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the challenge during his visit to the US and invited the international sector to work closely with the UK government to deliver a demonstrator flight powered by 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The test flight will be supported by up to 1 million GBP of competition funding.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
- This trailblazing net zero emissions flight, a world first, will demonstrate the vital role of sustainable aviation fuel in decarbonizing aviation in line with our ambitious net zero targets.
- That’s not just great news for the environment, it’s great news for passengers who will be able to visit the Big Apple without increasing damaging greenhouse gas emissions.
- It’s crucial that we place sustainability at the heart of the aviation industry’s recovery from COVID-19 and I look forward to working with them on this challenge, which will lower the impact flying across the Atlantic has on the planet.
Chief Executive Officer at trade body Airlines UK, stated in response to the net-zero transatlantic challenge announcement,
“UK airlines strongly support the development of a UK SAF industry, which will play a vital role in helping our sector deliver net-zero emissions by 2050, as we are committed to doing. (…) We now need to turbocharge production in order to build the initial 3 SAF plants by 2025 and UK airlines have shown real commitment to making this happen with our partnerships with Philipps 66, Velocys and LanzaTech.”