Exeter Airport involved in the future of flight project

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The South West’s booming aerospace sector secured £236,000 of funding to create a Future Flight Innovation Zone (FFIZ) in Devon and Somerset.

The FFIZ will help to create a safe and environmentally friendly future for aviation and it will form part of a Future Aviation Test and Innovation Zone that is focussed around two key sites; Exeter Airport and iAero in Yeovil.

The Future Flight Innovation Zone is a unique eco-system that brings together key stakeholders from Industry, academia, skills providers, Local Authorities, business support organisations and institutions that include the Met Office and the Connected Places Catapult. The Connected Places Catapult aims to drive innovation and create solutions for more efficient, sustainable, and connected environments.

Everyone involved shares the same vision and ambition to accelerate the decarbonisation of flight and will be able to provide professional advice and assistance to technology companies operating in this sector.

The funding that has been won will deliver:

  • A dedicated Sand Box with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which will allow up to 4 companies to seek support from the CAA Innovation Team to work through what they will need to do to enable certification for the testing and demonstration of their product
  • Specific CAA Innovation Advisor time to work with FFIZ to help further develop its activities
  • Funding for Future Flight Testing infrastructure to enable testing and demonstration

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery and Skills, said: “This investment is very welcome. Establishing a Future Flight Innovation Zone (FFIZ) in Devon and Somerset will put our region at the forefront of decarbonising of aviation and aerospace and will help us achieve our carbon net zero targets.

“The sector is a vital part of our region’s economy so we must ensure that Air travel has a sustainable future. The FFIZ will build on the innovative work already underway at Exeter Airport and Exeter College’s Future Skills Centre and will bring together other partners to help shape the future of the industry.”

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The Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone supports four major commercial sites. It is strategically located with excellent transport links on the edge of the vibrant city of Exeter and a stone’s throw from Devon’s outstanding coast and countryside. From start-ups to corporate headquarters, the Zone is the perfect place for businesses to flourish.

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