DBT hopes £218m funding into aerospace projects will create 'massive exporting opportunities'

Wed 21 Jun 2023
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

Airplane engine being built in factory with digital overlay

The government has announced a new round of funding aimed at helping the UK “lead the way” on developing sustainable air transport, with the hope that this will create “export opportunities” for British firms.

At the Paris Air Show yesterday (20 June), the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) announced that a total of £218m in funding – both from government and private sector sources – is being released to help the UK aviation industry develop green technologies.

Examples of this include research into more efficient aircraft parts, developing ‘new green innovative landing gear’, as well as additional investment in new aircraft and manufacturing technologies.

The funding, delivered through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme, aims to secure more high-skilled jobs and increase investment in aerospace technology across the country.

Export opportunities

Minister for industry and economic security, Nusrat Ghani, said:

“We’re growing the economy and supporting high-skilled, high-wage careers across the UK by backing our world-leading sectors like aviation.

“We want to achieve net zero air travel by 2050, and I want UK firms to lead the way developing the exciting technologies of the future. Backing our innovators will attract even more investment and create massive export opportunities for British firms.”

Ghani added that she would spend her time at the week-long show promoting the UK’s aerospace industry A number of orders were announced at the event, including a reportedly record-breaking 500 aircraft deal between manufacturer Airbus and low-cost Indian airline Indigo.

As reported previously by the IOE&IT Daily Update, orders of new planes helped fuel a continued post-Covid recovery by the manufacturing industry in the second quarter of this year.

‘Green’ airlines

As part of the global push towards net zero, the air industry is under pressure to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability.

On 4 June, the International Air Transport Association released a series of roadmaps identifying how the industry intends to hit net zero emissions.

The government has previously invested over £113m in research on ‘zero-emission’ flights, relying on hydrogen and electric to power aircraft through the skies.

Earlier this month, the FT reported that Cranfield Aerospace Solutions was in talks with ‘more than a dozen investors’ on a hydrogen powered aircraft. However, the technology remains underdeveloped and faces skepticism from some industry experts.