The UK aerospace industry needs to focus on building testing facilities, standardising certification and building skills in the workplace to win the race to develop hydrogen fuel technologies.

Speaking to FINN at the Sustainable Skies World Summit 2024 held at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre in May, Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) programme director – hydrogen capability network Laura Cuss said the UK was in danger of being left behind.

She urged the industry to first making sure there are enough medium to large-scale testing facilities in the UK to both test the technology and ensure a ready supply of liquid hydrogen to meet the demands of big business, SMEs and the supply chain.

Cuss added the ATI has been working closely with the Health and Safety Executive to build such a facility at its Science and Research Centre in Buxton in the UK.

Secondly, she said work was required to ensure common test standards need to be created for companies to ensure any technologies developed are safe.

She added: “When we come to certify these products then we know that they have all been done to the same level and that we have got a good basis for the certification authorities to ensure we maintain aerospace’s safety record.”

Finally, Cuss said more needs to be done to pilot initiatives to grow skills in the technology to ensure the UK workforce isn’t left behind.

“There isn’t a lot of capability, it’s a global market and we will lose the capability and knowledge we have,” Cuss added. “We have to do more to build up that skills base so we can retain the research in the UK.”Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter

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