Government publishes Future Flight 2030 Action Plan

The government has unveiled a plan for the development and industrialisation of emerging aviation technologies.

Developed in partnership with the aviation industry and government, the Future Flight 2030 Action Plan, sets out the approach for the making the UK a leader in Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS), more commonly known as drones, and all electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing vehicles (eVTOLs). 

The vision for Future Flight  

The UK is aiming to be a leader in emerging aviation technologies, with a sustainable industry and thriving ecosystem at home and UK companies providing a range of services around the world by the end of the decade.  

By 2030, UK industries and the public will enjoy economic, social and environmental benefits thanks to the widespread availability of these technologies across the economy, communities and transport networks. Use-cases for UAS include drones used to deliver mail to remote areas and improving NHS efficiency through using Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to deliver surgical implants and pathology samples between Trust sites. e-VTOLs may be capable of joining cities such as Liverpool and Leeds in just 26 minutes, supporting regional connectivity.  

However, scaling this technology is contingent upon a series of strategic objectives to achieve in the years to come. For UAS, these relate to achieving routine operations beyond the pilot’s visual line of sight (BVLOS). For eVTOL, these are focused on delivering initial, and then routine operations carrying passengers or cargo and achieving demonstrations of autonomous operations – during which the aircraft is operating without pilot intervention in the management of the flight.  

The pathway to 2030  

The Plan has outlined a wide series of commitments and deliverables across Government, the Civil Aviation Authority, and industry. These focus on improving operational capabilities, access and regulation, physical infrastructure and sectoral development.  

In balancing the conditions correctly, it is hoped that UAS operations will move from their current usage conditions of 90-day trials in segregated airspace to every-day usage. Longer-duration testing environments, known as Temporary Reserved Areas, will help scale routing operations while a UK version of the Specific Operating Risk Assessment (SORA) will introduce a  standardised way to assess and manage the risk posed by a UAS operation.  

In the case of e-VTOL, there is an expectation operational networks will grow in scale and range from initial routes to large scale networks between nodes comprising both established aerodromes and new vertiports, offering urban and regional transport options to the consumer. These nodes will also need to develop the charging infrastructure and appropriate electrical energy provision.  

Digital infrastructure  

The future of flight is dependent on a secure UK-wide connectivity network that supports a safe and efficient ecosystem. techUK continues to engage widely with Government in order to ensure the UK has the foundational cross-cutting systems and structures in place needed to support emerging industries.  

Next steps to taking flight  

techUK will continue to monitor the evolution of this sector and the implementation of the Action Plan which may include targeted interventions. Members wishing to discuss this sector are encouraged to get in touch.  


techUK – Unleashing UK Tech and Innovation 

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The UK is home to emerging technologies that have the power to revolutionise entire industries. From quantum to semiconductors; from gaming to the New Space Economy, they all have the unique opportunity to help prepare for what comes next.

techUK members lead the development of these technologies. Together we are working with Government and other stakeholders to address tech innovation priorities and build an innovation ecosystem that will benefit people, society, economy and the planet - and unleash the UK as a global leader in tech and innovation.

For more information, or to get in touch, please visit our Innovation Hub and click ‘contact us’. 


Tech and Innovation Summit, 6 Nov (rescheduled date)

Emerging technologies will be debated and explored at our annual Tech and Innovation Summit, taking place on  6 November. This campaign week will directly feed into the themes discussed at the Summit. 

techUK’s flagship Tech and Innovation Summit returns to traverse the extraordinary and ground-breaking discoveries made possible by the application of emerging and transformative technologies. 

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techUK's sprint campaigns explore how emerging and transformative technologies are developed, applied and commercialised across the UK's innovation ecosystem.

Activity includes workshops, roundtables, panel discussions, networking sessions, Summits, and flagship reports (setting out recommendations for Government and industry).

Each campaign runs for 4-6 months and features regular collaborations with programmes across techUK. 

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This campaign explored how the UK can lead on the development, application and commercialisation of space technologies and ultimately realise the benefits of the New Space Economy.

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