As many people’s thoughts turn to perhaps flying somewhere for a week or so holiday, it is worth remembering that an increase in international travel provides a welcome boost for the Crawley and Gatwick economy and the people who work in it.
We know the impact that air travel can have on our environment which is why I have continued to lobby Government for greater support for the aviation industry to reach Jet Zero: the commitment for UK domestic aviation to achieve net zero emissions by 2040, and for all airports in England to be zero-emission by this point.
The Jet Zero strategy has now been published and seeks to improve our aviation system’s efficiency. Fuel efficiency will be improved by 2 per cent every year, and Government is providing some £3.7 million in 2022-23 to help airports modernise their airspace.
This is not only going to set the course for reaching net zero but will boost us into the direction we want to be heading.
Government will increase support for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) by creating a secure and growing UK SAF demand through a SAF mandate. This will require at least 10 per cent of jet fuel to be made from sustainable sources by 2030, boosting a domestic SAF industry supported by the new £165 million Advanced Fuels Fund.
Ahead of the release of the strategy, as Chair of the Future of Aviation All-Party Parliamentary Group I co-ordinated an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for swifter action on the development of SAF. We now need to see Government and industry working even closer on this issue as part of the commitment to Jet Zero.
There has never been a more critical time to decarbonise. Aviation can and must reach net zero. I am proud to campaign in Parliament for a more sustainable aviation system. In spite of the challenges of the Covid pandemic the sector’s commitment to this goal remains resolute.
As seen throughout these last few challenging years we as a country are able to set an example; such as the British leadership seen at the COP26 summit.
I am keen for the UK to be a role model for other economies when it comes to sustainability in the aviation industry.
In addition to ongoing discussions with the Transport Secretary I also raised this cause at the Farnborough International Airshow last week.
The Jet Zero strategy is going to help us reduce our emissions with Gatwick Airport playing an important part. It is welcome that the Government and the sector are keen to play such a leading role.
Crawley and Gatwick can fly into the future and achieve a safer and more environmentally-friendly aviation industry.
Henry Smith MP