The UK revealed intentions to fly the first net-zero carbon transatlantic aircraft in 2023 just as the weekend was getting underway. The Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, has decided to invite the international sector to work with the UK government to produce a demonstrator flight powered by 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) before the end of next year to help make this sustainable leap for one of the world's most heavily trafficked corridors.
The minister announced a competition fund to help things forward. From 2022 to 2023, up to £1 million ($1.225 million) in money will be made available to assist the flight's testing, research, and personnel expenditures. All airlines running nonstop UK-US flights, as well as fuel producers, suppliers, and aircraft or engine manufacturers, are eligible to enter.
Some dispute the British government's plan to "make guilt-free flying a reality." According to Cait Hewitt, Policy Director for the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF), the government is excessively reliant on technology that has not yet developed to meet its "jet zero" objectives, according to a report the group just commissioned.
Others are more thrilled about the new challenge, which aims to speed up the testing and approval of 100% SAF engines, as contrast to the present 50% for which contemporary engines are certified.
Even if aircraft were certified to fly on 100 percent SAF tomorrow, supplies would be insufficient to make a significant reduction in aviation emissions. There is hope that this will change with large investments and airline/fuel provider agreements like the recent landmark collaboration between United Airlines and Neste.