The inclusion of a pledge to develop zero-emission aircraft in the government’s 10-point Green Industrial Revolution plan has been dubbed “encouraging”.

Boris Johnson announced his vision, which has been criticised for a lack of detail, this morning, with critics saying the £4 billion allocated to implement plans is not enough.

In it, he promises ‘Jet Zero and greener maritime’ and vows that the government will be “supporting difficult-to-decarbonise industries to become greener through research projects for zero-emission planes and ships”.

It follows the creation of a Jet Zero Council, announced by transport secretary Grant Shapps in June, which will bring together aviation leaders with environmental groups and government with the ultimate goal of making zero-emission flying possible.

Adam Morton, chair of Sustainable Aviation – which includes UK airlines, aircraft manufacturers, airports and Abta –  welcomed the inclusion of the pledge. He said: “It is particularly encouraging that Jet Zero is identified as one of the priority areas. Through this investment and the work of the newly-formed Jet Zero Council, UK aviation has the potential to lead the world in developing and deploying cutting edge technologies such as Sustainable Aviation Fuel or SAF.

“SAF technology is available now, can be used in existing engines and aircraft, and its production overlaps strongly with the regions that have been earmarked for hydrogen and CCUS projects. However, follow-up action is needed urgently to stimulate the required private sector investment and remove obstacles to deployment. Over the longer term, these synthetic fuels will be joined by electric and hydrogen propulsion as part of a package to deliver net zero flight.”