There should be no attempts to “dilute” the UK’s ambitious plans to lead the way in decarbonising, aviation, according to Robert Courts MP.

Delivering the opening address for the Sustainable Skies World Summit which took place at Farnborough earlier this month, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Transport acknowledged the technological challenges which lay ahead for the sector. But he added these would also lead to opportunities as well.

Courts said the government was putting £180 million into sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) as well as their commercialisation and deployment: “That’s the medium term work, a drop in fuel going into existing aircraft types, but as we look at aerospace as well, there are more exciting opportunities as we look forward to things like hydrogen and electric aircraft as well. We’re very keen that the UK leads on this emerging market as well.”

“Ambition really is the word”

Courts added that the ICAO General Assembly taking place in September would be “key” to providing a global regulatory approach to decarbonisation for the international aviation industry. He explained: “ICAO is critical because it’s that international framework that will govern and will set the framework around decarbonisation, so CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation), the offsetting scheme, is very important, we want to make sure that’s strong. I want to make sure there’s no attempt to dilute that. We’re very keen that ambition remains and ambition really is the word. When we were at COP, we launched an international aviation ambition coalition which used to do exactly the same thing again at ICAO by developing a long-term ambitious goal for aviation.”

He added that the government would continue to work together with the industry and academia through forums such as the Jet Zero Council “to make sure that all views are represented at the right place, we get our arguments correct and we can then go forward and succeed in places like ICAO.”