A Manifesto For UK Leadership In Sustainable Aviation

Aviation Industry Sets Out Route to Net Zero Flight in Updated Manifesto

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  • Manifesto launched by Sustainable Aviation, the industry coalition of UK airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and fuel producers
  • UK aviation industry calls for Government action to accelerate aviation’s transition to net zero and quieter flight so the UK can capture the maximum economic benefits of the global transition
  • UK aviation supports one million jobs and contributes £22bn a year to the economy. A transition to net zero flight will safeguard the sector and generate tens of thousands of new jobs

Today Sustainable Aviation (SA) launches a new manifesto outlining the aviation industry’s commitment to achieving net zero aviation and minimising the impact of aviation noise, while maximising the economic benefits that aviation delivers across the nations and regions of the UK.

The economic prize for the UK of leading aviation’s transition to a sustainable future is significant. As well as securing aviation’s role connecting the UK to the global economy, facilitating trade, investment, and personal travel, our plan for a net zero sector could generate up to 60,000 new jobs in a UK sustainable aviation fuel industry, and increase UK aerospace’s economic contribution from £8.4bn today to over £37bn by 2050.

In recent years Sustainable Aviation members have achieved significant milestones, including modernising UK airspace to create more efficient flightpaths, a world-first transatlantic flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuels and successful tests of hydrogen-powered aircraft.

However, acceleration of policy support is needed if we are to remain a competitive global aviation hub and capture the new opportunities of net zero flight, in the face of strong competition from overseas competitors who are seeking to corner the market on exciting new technologies.

This new manifesto sets out how the next Government can ensure the UK leads the world in sustainable aviation by:

  • Delivering commercial UK Sustainable Aviation Fuel production at scale this decade with at least five UK SAF plants under construction in 2025 to ensure the UK is well placed to take early mover advantage of SAF production and supply
  • Strengthening the UK’s position as a world-leading innovator of aerospace technologies that gives UK competitive advantage in aviation efficiency and the development and commercialisation of new technologies, including hydrogen
  • Accelerating the airspace modernisation programme with Government support to remove obstacles to early completion
  • Progressing longer-term objectives that will be critical to success of the Net Zero Aviation by 2050 by securing capacity to meet the required energy and carbon removals demand to deliver UK aviation’s transition to net zero

The manifesto will be launched at an event in Parliament today at which speeches will be delivered by Aviation Minister Anthony Browne MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Industry and Decarbonisation Sarah Jones MP, former Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP, and GMB National Secretary Andy Prendergast.

Matt Gorman, Chair of Sustainable Aviation and Sustainability Director at Heathrow, said:

Our transition to net zero flight will not only safeguard and grow aviation’s contribution to the UK economy but also create thousands of new jobs. By leveraging our existing strengths as an aviation nation, we can lead the world in green aviation technology.

Great strides have been taken in recent years, including the universal adoption of the 2050 net zero target, world-first 100% transatlantic SAF flight from London and test flights using hydrogen aircraft here in the UK. Sustainable Aviation is calling on Government to take decisive action to accelerate our transition to net zero flight, so we can realise the substantial social, economic, and environmental benefits of sustainable aviation.

Aviation Minister Anthony Browne said:

As the world continues to combat climate change, aviation will play a vital part in reaching net zero and the dedication of Sustainable Aviation is helping us get there. “With support from the Government’s £135m Advanced Fuels Fund and upcoming SAF mandate, the UK SAF programme continues to be a global leader and will not only encourage investment, level up local communities and support jobs but most importantly, make aviation a cleaner, greener way to travel.

Former Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP said:

As this manifesto demonstrates, our aviation industry has made major strides towards net zero flight, but there is still much work to be done. With the right policy, regulatory, and investment environment, the UK can lead the way in sustainable aviation and reap significant economic rewards.

GMB National Secretary Andy Prendergast said:

SAF is a real opportunity for the UK to build an industry and create decent jobs whilst helping to decarbonise air travel. The Government needs to ensure that it gets the vital support it needs and soon.

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