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UK government gives new funds to regulators to speed hydrogen-power, UTM and drone deployment

UK Science Minister George Freeman has today awarded up to UKP12 million (SD 14 million) to UK regulators and local authorities to pioneer innovative low carbon technologies – including drone, UTM and hydrogen-powered aviation research.

Among the projects in the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund:

  • £961,650 to the Civil Aviation Authorityto collaborate with the aviation industry and academia to enhance the understanding of hydrogen-related risks to aviation safety, identify gaps in policies, and propose recommendations to develop new net-zero policies. Hydrogen propulsion solutions offering the potential for no carbon emission flights are at an early stage of development. This project will help to make the UK a world leader in the use of hydrogen in aviation, influence the development of future global standards, and make the UK a prime destination for investment in this area, driving economic growth.
  • £250,000 for Argyll and Bute Councilto partner with Skyports and Air Navigation Solutions Limited to undertake trials over the west-coast of Scotland testing the safe integration of drones within manned and unmanned airspace. This could enable the timely and safe delivery of medicines and cargo in remote locations.
  • Coventry City Council will use £268,175 to lead a project to explore the use of commercial drones, which could offer significant potential for fast, safe, cheap and sustainable delivery in urban areas, but are constrained by regulatory barriers that restrict usage. Starting at the local level, a series of workshops will bring together relevant stakeholders and regulators to identify solutions to these barriers, with findings shared more widely to allow the whole UK to benefit.

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