A letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer from 35 cross-party MPs has called on government to fuel a green economic recovery by “supercharging investment in aviation decarbonisation”.

In February this year a coalition of UK aviation industry bodies committed to produce net zero carbon emissions by 2050, publishing a Decarbonisation Road Map which focuses on the use of sustainable alternative jet fuels, new, more efficient aircraft engines, and carbon offsetting initiatives.

The letter said that there was “a golden opportunity to rebuild a great British industry in a way that protects and creates jobs, fuels a green economic recovery and futureproofs UK aviation for decades to come”.

It calls for the UK government to commit £500 million in funding, matched by industry, to support the delivery of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facilities in the UK.

“This is here and now technology and an area where we are already leading the world in early stage projects,” said the letter. “SAF offer significant economic opportunities too – by 2035 SAF production could generate up to £2.7 billion for the economy and support around 18,800 jobs across the UK.”

The MPs also urged the government to increase funding for the Aerospace Technology Institute, “to enable the UK to become a world-leader in developing more efficient engines as well as hybrid and electric aircraft”, and to provide short term funding “that would enable The Airspace Change Organising Group (ACOG) to complete the Airspace Masterplan, which will cut emissions immediately”.

Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sustainable Aviation Sir Graham Brady MP said that “Decarbonising aviation is going to be a crucial step in meeting our net zero ambitions, but it also offers an opportunity to make Britain a world leader in new technologies”.

“As we emerge from lockdown, support for the aviation industry can drive a sustainable recovery, so that as the Prime Minister says, we can ‘build back greener’. This means building a sustainable aviation fuels industry in the UK, a here-and-now technology that can create jobs and add billions to our economy.”