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06 Feb 2024

Airbus and their Nordic partners have formed a plan to explore the potential for hydrogen infrastructure at airports

Amy Power
Airbus and their Nordic partners have formed a plan to explore the potential for hydrogen infrastructure at airports

Four companies, Airbus, Avinor, SAS, Swedavia and Vattenfall will be collaborating with the intention of investigating the feasibility of hydrogen infrastructure at airports. The airports the companies will focus on will be based in Sweden and Norway.

These companies have created a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and they have agreed to work together to research specific needs and opportunities for improvement within the selected airports. They will perform this research in order to gain a better understanding of hydrogen aircraft concepts, operations, supply, infrastructure and refueling needs throughout the airports.

This research will be conducted across over fifty airports and at each airport, the companies will analyse how their expertise could be applied to the airport. The adaptations that the companies could suggest will all be focused on finding ways and opportunities to decarbonise the aviation industry. The companies hope that this analysis will help them to find opportunities and pathways that will allow the selected airports to be transformed into airports that are able to operate hydrogen-powered aircrafts. These potential adaptations will be made to airports based in Sweden and Norway and will also still allow for regular framework to function as normal.

Alongside this collaboration, Airbus has other projects also underway, which are also involved in hydrogen technologies. Airbus has been operating these projects under ZEROe, the aviation giant’s, strategy. Two significant projects included the development of a fuel cell engine in November 2022, which is expected to be in service by 2035. Another project began in 2023, which would trial hydrogen fuel cells for auxiliary power, whilst onboard an aircraft. Furthermore, the project that is currently a collaboration with the three other companies, aligns with the program that Airbus recently launched, Hydrogen Hub at Airports. This program follows the aim to ‘jumpstart’ research that looking into infrastructure requirements that will enable hydrogen-powered flights.

CEO of Airbus, Guillaume Faury, mentioned that Norway and Sweden are among the “most demanding” regions for aviation, as they also have “great potential” for hydrogen production.

Faury said, “I’m very pleased to enter into this cooperation with partners fully engaged to take significant steps towards decarbonising aerospace. It fits perfectly with our strategy of deploying hydrogen aviation ecosystems in the most suitable parts of the world.”

President and CEO of Swedavia, Jonas Abrahamsson, spoke about the partnership being a “major and important step” that will help the Nordic region move towards a cleaner aviation future.

President and CEO of Vattenfall, Anna Borg, added, “This cross border collaboration however demonstrates the willingness to bring about change. We look forward to contributing with expertise in electricity market development, electrical infrastructure, and hydrogen production in Sweden.”

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