Leaders in West London call for the UK to lead the way in the race to Zero Carbon Aviation

Senior business leaders, local authorities, academics and politicians in West London called today (18 March 2021) for the UK to take a lead in the race to zero carbon aviation as part of a move to see greater progress in the UK’s aviation sector plans ahead of COP26. The call comes as the new London West Innovation District holds its first event following its launch at the end of last year. Speakers at the senior roundtable include the Aviation Minister Robert Courts MP, the CBI’s Katy Racina and Matt Gorman, Head of Carbon Strategy for Heathrow Airport.

An emerging aviation system model will be presented by Professor Rob Miller from Cambridge University’s Whittle Lab. Growing evidence suggests a joined-up approach across the aviation sector is needed to realise aviation decarbonisation. The decarbonisation of flight is high on the agenda, but it must be matched by a plan that includes digital logistics and cargo, low carbon food, low carbon travel choices and wider transformation. The event showcased pilot projects and set out a roadmap for the innovation district’s first year of operation.

Seema Malhotra MP, co-chair of the London West Innovation District Steering Group and MP for Feltham and Heston said:

“Aviation is much more than airports and airlines. With aviation communities so badly devastated by the pandemic – we urgently need a longer-term plan for how we bring our businesses and supply chains together with new thinking for sustainable economic growth. We need to build back greener. Decisions made now will drive the jobs of the future. The more we set the direction of travel, the faster those much needed future aviation jobs will come.”

Andrew Dakers, CEO of West London Business said, “The London West Innovation District provides a fantastic opportunity to mobilise West London’s innovators, businesses, academics and public sector to lead the way in zero carbon aviation. We need to help reinvigorate investment and innovation in the UK’s aviation sector, supply chains and logistics. This will help drive London’s ongoing international competitiveness. With Heathrow being the UK’s largest port by value, this is the ambition demanded to see the UK’s global hub drive the future of transport across the world.”

The London West innovation district was launched with the goal of helping drive innovation and investment and to see the West London sub-region become the “Silicon Valley of Aviation.” The Innovation District will initially be housed at Plus X’s accelerator in Hayes.

Mat Hunter, Co-CEO of Plus X said “As the Innovation District mobilises around a mission of championing zero carbon aviation, supported by data-led partnerships and strategies to drive efficiency and transform services, we want to grow a culture of shared problem solving with new innovators working closely with established industry players. This collaborative working through the Innovation District can make a significant contribution to the UK’s leadership in the run-up to COP 26 and the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) conference next year.”

For more information on London West Innovation District email amelia.grant@westlondon.com