Airbus, Air Liquide and Vinci Airports have partnered to promote hydrogen at airports and build the European airport network to support hydrogen-powered aviation.
The French airport Lyon-Saint Exupéry, which is Vinci Airports’ centre of excellence for innovation, has been chosen as the pilot airport by the partners and will see the first installation by 2023. Vinci Airports is a leading private airport operator with 45 airports in 12 countries.
The partnership is a major step towards developing a hydrogen-powered airport ecosystem. Airbus will provide its expertise in commercial aircraft; Air Liquide’s will offer its know-how of hydrogen value chain (production, liquefaction, storage and distribution); and Vinci Airports will help create the desired network.
The implementation of this project goes through various phases:
- A hydrogen gas distribution station to be deployed at Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport by 2023. It will supply both the airport’s ground vehicles (e.g., airside buses, trucks, handling equipment) and other heavy goods vehicles that drive around the airport. This first phase will test the airport’s facilities and dynamics as a ‘hydrogen hub’ in its area of reach.
- Liquid hydrogen infrastructures to be deployed between 2023 and 2030 for supplying hydrogen to hydrogen-powered aircraft.
- Hydrogen infrastructure will be deployed for mass production and distribution of liquid hydrogen at the airport from 2030 onwards.
- The three partners will study the possibility of equipping Vinci Airports’ European airport network with the hydrogen production, storage and supply facilities needed for use on the ground and onboard aircraft by 2030.