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The UK’s Sustainable Aviation coalition has written to the government calling on politicians to provide support to developments within the sector to help deliver net-zero flights.

In a letter to the prime minister, leading figures in the sector stated that three areas in particular need support if the country is to realise its ambition of providing flights with no emissions.

These three areas are the development of sustainable aviation fuels, completing airspace modernisation and investing in ground-breaking electric, hybrid and hydrogen-powered aircraft.

The letter describes this as a “once in a generation chance for the UK to seize the opportunity to lead the world, both in delivering net-zero flight and to enable UK aviation to support our economic recovery through the high-skilled jobs, supply chain and export benefits that investment in new green aviation technology will bring”.

Among the measures the coalition is urging the government to take are to provide capital grants and targeted loan guarantees to businesses working in one of these three areas of the aerospace sector.

This targeted financial support will be particularly crucial for the country’s emerging sustainable aviation fuels industry, the coalition added.

Earlier this month, Production Engineering Solutions shared the findings of research conducted by PwC, which found that the UK’s aerospace sector remains the most attractive for investment in Europe, despite the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit.

In global rankings, the UK comes seventh, with the US at the top of the list, followed by Singapore, Canada, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

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The UK has built a reputation for itself for having a thriving private space industry, and it’s one that the government is lending support to as well.

An article for The Boar recently pointed out that the UK’s aerospace sector is the second largest in the world, with the space sector in particular performing especially well in recent years. Due to its strong growth, UK Space has created the Space Growth Partnership, which is targeting significant growth for the country’s private space sector.

The aim set out under the Space Growth Partnership is for the UK’s private space companies to have a ten per cent share of the global space market by 2030, up from the six per cent it currently holds.

There are several projects and areas of focus under this partnership. A key focus is developing low-cost access to space, which will involve developing spaceports around the country to enable businesses to launch their own satellites and rockets.

One such spaceport is expected to begin development in the coming months, with Space Hub Sutherland in Scotland awaiting the go-ahead from the Scottish government.

There are also discussions to create a spaceport complex at Newquay Airport in Cornwall, which would allow for the horizontal launches of Virgin Group spacecraft.

Ambitions to grow the UK’s space sector were given a boost earlier this month with the government’s announcement of a significant increase to defence spending.

UK Space pointed out that defence secretary Ben Wallace recently said that the government now recognises space as “an operational domain”, which means further funding will be channelled into this area.

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