CAA sets out hydrogen zero-carbon aviation fuel challenge

The potential of hydrogen as a zero-carbon emission aviation fuel is to be investigated in an initiative promoted by the Civil Aviation Authority.

The ‘hydrogen challenge’, backed with almost £940,000 from a fund overseen by the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology, will run until February 28.

The grant-based fund enables regulators and local authorities to help create a UK regulatory environment that encourages business innovation and investment.

Hydrogen as an aviation fuel is at an early stage of development. The sector does not yet have a comprehensive understanding of the risks to aviation safety and the right pathway to certification, according to the CAA.

The challenge will enable collaboration with industry and academia to improve understanding of hydrogen-related risks in aviation, identify gaps in policies and propose new recommendations to develop net-zero policies.

Introducing hydrogen propulsion is key to achieving the government’s ‘jet zero’ strategy.

The CAA will soon open applications for a new ‘regulatory sandbox’ to assist applicants to run hydrogen trials

CAA head of future safety and innovation Sophie O’Sullivan said: “The project will help facilitate efforts to move towards a net-zero aviation sector by supporting the industry to explore how feasible the introduction of hydrogen is and how we can make sure regulation is fit for purpose.

“Enabling innovation while maintaining safety is a key part of our work and this challenge is a clear example of our collaborative approach to shaping the future of aviation.”

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