Recently, with all the negative aspects of world news flying around, I’ve really enjoyed reporting on the maverick ways in which the global aviation industry seems to be aggressively pursuing its climate goals. Between efforts from manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus, as well as the industry-wide push to be greener, I feel that aviation has got to be leading the world in converting to a more sustainable model. To that effect, the UK has again demonstrated its commitment to this goal recently by announcing another round of funding for the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) to research greener tech. The Institute will be receiving £685 million from 2022 to 2025, a massive increase on the £235 million from the last three years. What’s more, the UK’s aviation industry has pledged to co-fund the Institute, taking the total to well above £1 billion. That’s a massive amount to be pumping into this country’s already impressive R&D system, and will give the ATI a unique opportunity to create some of the cutting-edge tech which will hopefully lead us into a fully sustainable future. Speaking of which, the ATI is currently working on 343 individual projects, as well as recently completing a FlyZero report which generated crucial findings regarding the viability and future of zero-carbon emission commercial aviation.
The institute certainly has the confidence of Rowley, who commented “these projects are making a real-world impact and could one day help the global aviation industry transition to net zero.” With the institute pledging to build “on the UK’s strengths and respond to the challenges faced by the UK civil aerospace sector,” this new round of funding will help the ATI fulfill its strategy overview and “keep the UK competitive in the global aerospace market.” What’s more, a show of economic confidence from the government is bound to give “large and small businesses the confidence to invest in the technologies that will bring civil aviation into the next generation” – according to Rowley. That means the already punchy over a billion in funding could increase to a lot more in the next few years. Beyond just economic positivity, this measure could see increased interconnectedness between various corporations all interested in the same climate goals. When it comes to effective climate action, the more the merrier, so this new round of funding may facilitate the growth of a wider sustainable industry. Despite all this, however, the UK still has a lot more to get cracking on with if it is to meet its net zero by 2050 target. Stories like this definitely show that the government is at least heading in the right direction, and generates momentum which carries us all forward into a more sustainable future.