Green paper sets out future of British aerospace industry

Greater public awareness of new aerospace technologies and cooperation in the piloting of such technologies are among the proposals made in a new government consultation paper on the aviation sector.

British Aerospace - Revenues of large companies in the aerospace industry are growing - image courtesy of Depositphotos.
“The UK is a world-leader in aviation, supporting high value jobs across the country and facilitating international trade and tourism” – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

The UK government have launched an aviation strategy, setting out their proposals for the future of British aerospace over the next three decades.

The consultation sets out how the government plans to modernise the aviation sector. It includes details on the electrification of aircraft and on how barriers to innovation can be overcome.

The Aviation 2050: The future of UK aviation consultation paper sets out how the government plans to encourage new innovation and technology in the aviation sector, how it can reduce congestion, noise and emissions, and minimise delays at airports.

It says the electrification of aircraft “could present significant opportunities” for the UK as sales of conventional aircraft decline, and hybrid-electric aircraft and all-electric aircraft become more popular. It quotes the Aerospace Technology Institute figures which estimate that hybrid-electric aircraft could generate up to £4 trillion in revenue by 2050.

It added: “There is significant potential for the UK to export to countries that are not large aerospace manufacturing nations… If we can move quickly, there is an opportunity for the UK to lead the world in these areas, capturing a segment of the growing global aerospace market.”

More data openness is also recommended. The report says that compared to other transport industries, the aviation industry is relatively behind in data openness.

It advocates that government work with the aviation industry to improve the quality and the openness of data by formulating an ‘Aviation Data Action Plan,’ similar in concept to the data action plan for rail.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the aerospace sector trade organisation ADS, welcomed the government’s consultation paper: “Today’s publication of the government’s Aviation 2050 strategy is an important step in delivering a more sustainable UK aviation industry.

“The UK is a world-leader in aviation, supporting high value jobs across the country and facilitating international trade and tourism. Industry is committed to working closely with government to implement the new strategy.

“The recently agreed Aerospace Sector Deal will support the development of advanced new technologies like hybrid and electric aircraft. These will help reduce noise, cut emission and sustain valuable manufacturing jobs.”

Among the report’s other proposals include greater cooperation between government and industry in the early safe demonstration and piloting of new technologies. That should be combined with business models that can help the aerospace industry profit from the new technologies.

Campaigns to raise public awareness of new aerospace technologies are also proposed by the government. The Go Ultra Low electric vehicles campaign is seen as a model for public campaigns. This campaign involved government and industry encouraging motorists to buy more electric vehicles by educating them about the benefits of electric vehicles.


Reporting by Harry Wise