Destination Zero: One year on

A year after launch of the UK technology strategy Destination Zero, Chief Technology Officer Simon Weeks reflects on the focus this brought to our shared mission of sustainable aviation.

The launch of the UK aerospace technology strategy a little over a year ago represented a shift in our efforts as an industry to achieve Net Zero 2050 in aviation. Destination Zero offered a radical vision for the future of aerospace globally and 12 months on, the imperative to deliver continues to grow.

Destination Zero sets our path towards achieving Net Zero carbon emissions for commercial aircraft by 2050 and supports the competitiveness of the UK industry in sustainable design, manufacture, assembly and operations of future aircraft. It advocates for a balanced approach of dramatically improving aircraft efficiency alongside the development of novel hydrogen and electric propulsion technologies. A range of common cross cutting technologies are also required to bring these to reality. These ultra-efficient, zero-carbon and cross-cutting technologies form the investment priorities for the ATI Programme.

We have seen significant progress through ATI funded projects in recent years, showing the UK has high ambition with the capability to match. Now is the time to build on our strengths and secure market share on transformational aerospace technologies.

Today, the ATI Programme is more competitive than ever before and, while increased funding was secured in the government’s most recent Comprehensive Spending Review, demand still outweighs availability meaning the ATI must make strategic decisions when reviewing applications. Destination Zero provides the basis for these decisions to ensure the projects funded align with the priorities set out in the technology strategy.

In his foreword of Destination Zero, ATI CEO Gary Elliott wrote: “With ambitious long-term cross-sector commitment, the UK can lead, inspire and change global aviation. Doing so will deliver substantial economic benefits to the UK, building back better and supporting levelling up the country through the industry’s regional footprint.” This opportunity remains in play and the right investment decisions today will unlock the potential the transition to ultra-efficient and zero-carbon technologies represents for UK aerospace.

To download the UK aerospace technology stratgey, Destination Zero, click here.