ZeroAvia Selected to Work with the UK Civil Aviation Authority on Hydrogen Readiness - ZeroAvia

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    February 28, 2024

    ZeroAvia Selected to Work with the UK Civil Aviation Authority on Hydrogen Readiness

    Zero-emissions aviation innovator will work closely with regulator to increase readiness for hydrogen propulsion and fuel as part of the UK Government’s regulatory Hydrogen Challenge

    [Hollister, CA & Kemble, UK – January 28th, 2024]ZeroAvia today announced that it has been selected by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority as one of three companies to participate in the regulator’s inaugural Hydrogen Challenge Sandbox. The Hydrogen Challenge will see ZeroAvia work with the CAA to ensure increased regulatory readiness, reduced risk of failure, and improved collaboration in the adoption of hydrogen propulsion technologies and fuel.  


    The UK Civil Aviation Authority launched the Hydrogen Challenge in November 2023 to help leverage the potential of hydrogen as a zero-carbon emission aviation fuel. The Hydrogen Challenge is funded with nearly £940,000 from the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund, which is overseen by the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology.   


    Introducing hydrogen propulsion is key to achieving the Government’s Jet Zero Strategy and is also a key deliverable for the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s sustainability strategy.  


    The UK Civil Aviation Authority will continue to address these issues through its Hydrogen Challenge, using a Regulatory Sandbox approach to make sure regulation is fit for purpose and reduce challenges associated with the introduction of hydrogen fuel. Sandbox services are offered prior to the start of the process for regulatory certification, which will help accelerate the introduction of new technologies. 


    ZeroAvia is developing hydrogen-electric (fuel cell) engines for aviation, already flying a prototype system in a Dornier 228 testbed under a CAA Permit to Fly and has submitted its application to certify its first 600kW engine, ZA600. The company will work with the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s challenge to identify hazards, risks, and safety challenges associated with the retrofitting of a hydrogen-electric power train.  

    Tim Johnson, Director of Strategy and Policy at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: 


    “The Hydrogen Challenge is key to helping both the sector and UK Civil Aviation Authority to better understand emerging hydrogen technologies and the regulatory steps to progress towards entry into service.”


    “Working closely with the three selected companies will enable us to take a step closer towards a net-zero aviation sector by supporting the industry to explore how feasible the introduction of hydrogen is and how we can make sure regulation develops with the technology and is fit for purpose.” 

    Paul Harper, Director of Airworthiness & Certification, ZeroAvia, said:


    “With the ever increasing optimism around hydrogen as the fuel of the future for aviation, it is critical that there is good knowledge sharing between the regulator and industry in this nascent area. Given we are already flight testing and working with the CAA on certification of our first engine, now is the right time for the Hydrogen Challenge to swing into action.”

    Reducing the environmental impact of aircraft turnarounds at Exeter Airport will be the focus of another study under the programme, carried out by Regional & City Airports, TUI and Cranfield University. The Exeter Airport Consortium will use the Challenge to help enable the consortium and the regulator to review and provide regulatory feedback on safety cases, test plans, and risk assessments. 

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    About ZeroAvia


    ZeroAvia is a leader in zero-emission aviation with the mission of delivering a hydrogen-electric engine in every aircraft as the most environmentally and economically friendly solution for addressing the industry’s climate impact. The company is starting with engines to support a 300-mile range in 9–19 seat aircraft by the end of 2025, and up to 700-mile range in 40–80 seat aircraft by 2027. Founded in California and now with thriving teams also in Everett, WA and the United Kingdom, ZeroAvia has secured experimental certificates to test its engines in three separate testbed aircraft with the FAA and CAA and passed significant flight test milestones. The company has signed a number of key engineering partnerships with major aircraft OEMs and has nearly 2,000 pre-orders for engines from a number of the major global airlines, with future revenue potential over $10bn. For more, please visit, follow @ZeroAvia on FacebookTwitter/XInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.


    ZeroAvia Press Team

    About the CAA


    • The UK Civil Aviation Authority is the UK’s aviation and aerospace regulator. We work so that the aviation industry meets the highest safety standards and consumers have choice, value for money, are protected and treated fairly when they fly.
    • More information on how to apply can be found out by emailing
    • The Hydrogen Challenge runs until 28 February 2025.
    • The Hydrogen Challenge is funded with nearly £940,000 from the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund, which is overseen by the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology.