Post COP26: the next frontier for aerospace and its technology

Last week, ADS hosted a webinar focused on what is next for sustainability in aerospace and its associated technology. Knowledgeable speakers included:

  • John Copley, Chief Strategy Officer – Aerospace, ADS Group
  • Jonathon Counsell, Head of Sustainability, IAG
  • Holly Greig, Deputy Director, Aviation Decarbonisation Division, Department for Transport
  • Simon Weeks, CTO, Aerospace Technology Institute
  • Russ Dunn, CTO, GKN Aerospace
  • Rachel Everard, Group Head Sustainability, Rolls-Royce
  • Andy Phillips, Policy Advisor – Aerospace, ADS Group

The webinar kicked off with key reflections from COP26, its markedly clear that COP26 was not just a tick box exercise for aerospace and aviation but a significant milestone ahead of the ICAO Assembly in 2022. Following COP26, key milestones for the Department for Transport include:

  • Regular Jet Zero Council meetings.
  • Work and collaborate with International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition to build momentum and ambition towards the 41st ICAO Assembly in 2022.
  • Publish the final Jet Zero Strategy in early 2022.
  • Work with sustainable aviation fuel ambassadors to drive the global development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuel policies and initiatives.

Panel Discussion

The topic of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) featured heavily in the panel discussion with panelists noting that expanding SAF production and availability is a critical milestone. The Aerospace Technology Institute also commented on important research and development (R&D) initiatives which will enable the next generation of products. Current R&D initiatives include composite wing manufacturing which will increase aircraft energy and weight efficiency within the next five years, aerospace battery and hydrogen technology research marked by the recent unveiling of the ATI’s concept aircraft. Panelists also commented on the importance of collaboration across industry which was evidenced at ADS’ pre-COP26 event with a joint statement from global aerospace CTOs.

Closing Words

As the year ends and aerospace is planning for 2022 and the years beyond it is obvious that green technology has a global role to play. Rachel Everard commented that technology presents the unique opportunity to connect communities in a way not currently done. The ATI supported this commenting that there are socio-economic opportunities across the world and the industry is waiting and ready to go to deliver net zero by 2050 and secure a cleaner brighter future.

Finally,

If you’re interested in sustainability in aerospace, check out ADS’ Sustainable Aerospace Hub .In the meantime, if you have any questions about sustainable aerospace, please feel free to email Andy Phillips.