Zero emission flights are within grasp, but scale, collaboration and innovation are vital to achieving net zero goals, according to the global industry leaders at this year’s Sustainable Skies World Summit.
The summit, which took place 17-18 April 2023, gathered the aerospace industry alongside the wider aviation ecosystem, including government, technology innovators, academia, investors and regulators to stimulate collaboration, promote the role of the future workforce and demonstrate the technology that is beginning to deliver meaningful progress this decade.
Following the launch of the council at the Farnborough International Airshow in July 2022 and maximising the attendance at the summit, the Jet Zero Council (JZC) convened for its 8th meeting and revealed the UK government’s two-year jet zero plan.
Government representatives, including Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper MP, and Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade, Nusrat Ghani MP, attended the summit, meeting with innovators from across the sector and discussing the legislation and collaboration required to keep the UK at the forefront of the aerospace industry.
To mark the opening of Sustainable Skies World Summit, an RAF Voyager, an Airbus A330-derived Military Passenger and Air-to-Air refuelling aircraft, powered by a SAF blend, provided in collaboration with International Airlines Group (IAG) and BP, conducted an air-to-air refuelling sortie supplying SAF blend to other RAF aircraft. The flight, which used a SAF blend of 43%, performed the pre-scheduled operational refuelling sortie over the North Sea, prior to flying over Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre, where the event was taking place.
Signifying the gravity of the support and collaboration needed, Sustainable Aviation coalition published its updated Net Zero Carbon road-map outlining how commercial aviation will become more sustainable and commercially viable.
Speaking of the impact of the summit across the industry, Gareth Rogers, CEO of Farnborough International, said: “The level of collaboration, insight sharing, and attendance at the event has demonstrated the demand from the global aerospace ecosystem for the concerted progression towards net zero and the need for Sustainable Skies World Summit to be the catalyst for these conversations.
“Farnborough International is at the heart of the aerospace sector, leading the way in providing vital platforms for the industry to convene. We will continue with this critical dialogue at the Global Urban & Advance Air Summit (GUAAS), Singapore, hosted by Farnborough International, 27-28 September 2023.”
Jonathon Counsell, Group Head of Sustainability at International Airlines Group (IAG), added: “The second Sustainable Skies World Summit has completely surpassed all expectations. Attracting a wide range of inspiring speakers, sharing information and experience to help the industry on its journey towards net zero emissions by 2050, the summit has rapidly become a coveted industry event, during which many of the world’s industry leaders come together to support the delivery of truly sustainable flying.”
Wheeltug, ACOG, Alfanar, Rise Coalition, Reaction Engines, Rolls-Royce, ZeroAvia, GKN Aerospace, NeboAir, Zuri, Aerovolt, Carbon Engineering, Skyfly and Cranfield Aerospace Solutions showcased a range of their latest technology and innovation.
Highlighting the significant role of the event in bringing together key players from across the aviation ecosystem, Sustainable Skies World Summit received advocacy from industry supporters and sponsors, such as Airbus, Alfanar, ATI, Embraer, CFM, Catapault, ADS Group, Sustainable Aviation Coalition and Saudi Airlines.