Hear more from the ATI

Sign me up

The UK needs to maintain world-class design, analysis, development and certification capabilities to deliver competitive high-value systems for current and emerging markets.

The UK designs and manufactures major elements of air vehicles including wings, engines and many other complex systems. The UK also has a thriving supply chain providing components, sub-systems and services across all market segments.  Despite no longer assembling large commercial aircraft, it is critical that the UK retains a whole-aircraft capability to understand which technologies to develop and how these may be integrated into the vehicle. Aircraft are becoming more complex and the full potential of new technologies will only be realised through early consideration of their impact at the whole aircraft level. The UK also has real opportunities to design and make new air vehicles for the emerging sub-regional and urban markets.

Retain and grow whole aircraft design and analysis capability

The UK must protect and develop underpinning capabilities in air vehicle conceptual design and analysis.

The UK has the tools, testing infrastructure and skills required to understand the impact of new technologies at platform level. These need to be continually developed to keep pace with new technologies and aircraft concepts. This means enhancing conventional aircraft modelling processes and methods and growing whole aircraft design capability for new markets.

Be a key player in the delivery of future sustainable commercial aircraft

The UK needs to establish itself as the global leader in aircraft technologies for propulsion, complex systems and structures that meet the challenges of sustainability.

The aviation sector has committed to meet challenging environmental targets. The UK has an important role in meeting these through the products and services it provides. Many of the new technologies, including hybrid propulsion and enhanced aerodynamics, will need to be demonstrated on physical and virtual models and ultimately in flight. These are formidable undertakings, and we will work with industry to support both UK and international collaboration opportunities.

To be affordable, the cost of production for new aircraft technologies must be radically reduced through streamlined engineering, design, manufacture, certification and processes for upgrades. Industry is already targeting a 50 per cent reduction in certification costs by 2050 relative to 2000 . Reducing the time for aircraft development also improves time-to-market which is key for competitiveness. With increasing aircraft demand, allowing for ramp-up and improved production rates will also be a differentiator. We will seek collaborative approaches to deploy cutting-edge digital simulation and modelling tools to support these needs.

On the operational side, ATI has established a route map to single pilot operation which will offer cost efficiency and address the limited supply of new pilots for an expanding market.

Lead the way for sustainable air vehicles for urban and regional markets

The UK needs to lead the next era of aviation by demonstrating sustainable, safe and cost-effective technologies and taking the exciting opportunities offered by new air vehicles.

New markets are emerging for sub-regional (inter-city) and urban (intra-city) air transport services. Vehicles will need to operate in densely populated areas alongside a wide variety of aircraft and ground vehicles. These operations will need to be sustainable, quiet, safe and cost competitive against other modes of transport. The safety challenge could be addressed in part via increased automation and autonomy in aircraft and ground systems. These new markets are an opportunity for the UK to re-enter commercial air vehicle design, development and manufacture.

Although the projected market value is relatively small when compared to that of larger commercial aircraft, we will also aim to identify technologies that could be advanced and demonstrated in this emerging market that could scale to be applied later in large commercial aircraft.

Working with the sector, the ATI will push for early flight demonstrations incorporating cutting-edge propulsion & power including hybrid and all-electric propulsion and high levels of automation and autonomy. We will also encourage the development of high-fidelity digital twins and simulations. This work will evaluate environmental impacts, operability and safety and accelerate market entry.

Vehicles Roadmap


Reduce Cost: non-recurring cost, recurring cost, operating cost, disruption cost, disposal cost

Improve Energy Efficiency: aerodynamic efficiency, weight, propulsion system efficiency, operational impact, parasitic losses

Meet Operational Needs with Greater Flexibility: performance, payload, availability, operational limitation impact

Protect the Environment: climate impact, local air quality impact, noise, ground contamination, sustainability of manufacturing, materials impact

Enhance Passenger Experience: passenger comfort, service quality, ticket cost

Improve Safety: certification basis, tolerance to human error, verifiability, predictability, intrusion tolerance, environmental tolerance, risk of harm to staff in the manufacturing and operational environments

Targets (EIS)


CO2 (emissions per passenger kilometre, 2000 baseline): 75% reduction by 2050

NOx (emissions per passenger kilometre, 2000 baseline): 90% reduction by 2050

Noise (Aircraft level based, 2000 baseline): 65% reduction by 2050;

Aircraft movements emission-free when taxiingAircraft designed and manufactured to be recyclable

Net-zero carbon emissions for urban and sub-regional air vehicles


Certification cost (2000 baseline): 50% reduction by 2050


Fewer than one accident per ten million commercial aircraft flights by 2050

Technology Priorities (TRL 6)

2020 - 2025 2025 - 2030 2030 - 2035+
  • Development of sustainable drop-in fuels
  • Hybrid electric aircraft demonstrators
  • Folding wing tips
  • Noise management technologies
  • UHBR engines
  • High aspect ration wings
  • Laminar flow wings
  • Single pilot operations (cargo)
  • Single pilot operations (passenger)
  • Fuel Cell aircraft demonstrators
  • Noise management technologies
  • Hybrid electric aircraft demonstrators
  • All electric aircraft demonstrators
  • Laminar flow wings
  • Autonomous Sense-and-avoid
  • VTOL / STOL demonstrators
  • Distributed propulsion and augmented lift
  • Fully autonomus capability