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Ricardo air quality expert among group of new aviation ambassadors chosen by UK Government

17 Jan 2024


Honor Puciato, a Ricardo environmental consultant renowned for her expertise in air quality and greenhouse gas emissions, has been selected by the UK Government as one of a group of new aviation ambassadors who will help inspire, guide and nurture the next generation of aviation professionals. 

In a pioneering initiative to inspire the next generation of aviation professionals, the UK Government’s Aviation Minister, Anthony Browne, announced the appointment of ten new aviation ambassadors, including Honor, who, over the next two years, will serve as mentors and advocates, visiting schools, and attending mentoring events and workshops to showcase their experience and encourage young people to use their skills in aviation. As well as delivering their own bespoke outreach activities to underrepresented groups, the ambassadors will also offer advice on where pathways into aviation can be created or improved – making it easier for young people to join the sector.

Following the enforced slow-down to the aviation sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector is continuing to grow. Having so having a young and diverse workforce that can embrace and adapt to new challenges – whether that be new technologies, cleaner travel or emerging trends – will ensure the UK is at the cutting edge of the aviation industry.

Aviation Minister, Anthony Browne, said: “As the aviation industry evolves, these new aviation ambassadors will shine a light on this rewarding sector, attracting talented individuals who might otherwise miss their opportunity. These ambassadors will help to attract even more innovation and creativity to the industry, showcasing the opportunities available in this exciting new era of new technology and decarbonisation.”

With a rich 16-year background spanning public and private sectors, Honor’s expertise encompasses the development of emissions and sustainability strategies, and planning process for major transportation projects, including airports. Her journey in the aviation sector commenced four years ago when she joined Heathrow Airport Ltd as Environmental Manager, focusing on emissions (greenhouse gas and air pollutants). There, she led the delivery of air quality, climate change, and greenhouse gas emission impact assessments for the Heathrow Expansion Development Consent Order application. Subsequently, she assumed the role of Air Quality Strategy Lead within Heathrow Airport's sustainability team,  managing the air quality agenda and worked on the evolution of the sustainability strategy. 

In 2021, she joined Ricardo where her contributions extended to multiple UK airports. Highlights of her work at Ricardo so far include formulating a carbon action plan for Gatwick Airport, aiding Luton Airport in a carbon implementation plan, and leading stakeholder engagement for Highlands and Islands Airports. Presently, she is on secondment to Heathrow Airport offering advice and managing the air quality agenda for the airport. 

Describing what becoming an aviation ambassador means to her, Honor said: “I am honoured to have been appointed as an aviation ambassador, because I believe that my personal experience can inspire others by demonstrating the diversity of opportunities in the industry."

"In addition to my very broad professional experience in aviation through my daily work, I am also very actively involved in the Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM), where I lead the Early Career Group, which positions me well to promote the aviation programme to young and under-represented individuals. I'm currently developing a mentoring programme, invaluable for illustrating pathways into air quality careers and guiding individuals to acquire the necessary skills to thrive professionally, including the airport industry."

"Lastly, as a female born in Poland who entered aviation through determination and skills, I'm passionate about sharing my experience to empower others. My diverse background aligns perfectly with the goals of raising industry visibility, delivering outreach, and improving career pathways.”

“The aviation sector stands as one of the most challenging frontiers in decarbonisation. Yet, it's also among the most dynamic and swiftly evolving domains in this endeavour. Aviation thrives on change, actively collaborates with governments to forge new policies, and embraces innovation. This makes aviation an incredibly rewarding field for anyone passionate about sustainability and safeguarding our environment.”

“Young people are increasingly conscious of the detrimental effects of flying on our planet and hold sustainable development in high regard. This awareness has the potential to sway career choices, with some young individuals hesitant to enter an industry often associated with environmental harm. However, lasting change in aviation, as in any industry, hinges on the participation of young, impassioned individuals.”

“Through my involvement in this programme, I aspire to illuminate the aviation industry's possibilities for young minds. I wish for them to realise that by joining this sector, they become catalysts for change, integral to a monumental movement. The unwavering dedication and contributions can genuinely shape not only the future of aviation but also the destiny of our planet. My dream is for the new generation entering the aviation industry to see themselves as architects of solutions, not contributors to problems.”

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