MIAMI – Hydrogen is the simplest matter in nature yet a promising replacement to current fossil fuel. To emphasize, many pieces of research are underway about using Hydrogen as fuel, to cut down CO2 emissions to zero. Moreover, a variety of webinars are underway describing the technical side of the application of hydrogen into the future of the aviation industry.

Airbus has led calls for expressions of interest (EOI) to explore opportunities provided by hydrogen at Paris airports. The EOI aims at a vision to decarbonize the operations of air transport. The Aircraft maker leads a partnership, which includes the Paris region, Groupe ADP, and Air France-KLM (KL).

This worldwide demand for EOI comes alongside the French government’s energy transformation policy and boasts support from the European Commission. The call also seeks zero-emission aircraft by 2035. The winning proposals will be released at the end of April, after the closure of the March 19 deadline.

AirbusZEROe Blended Wing Body Concept. Photo: Airbus

Global Invitation for Revolution

The International Call for EOI has been launched by the International Paris Region agency. The department is responsible for promoting the city of Paris globally.

As such, the EOI seeks to create a unique network of airports federated around hydrogen, large businesses, small and medium-sized firms, start-ups, laboratories, and universities.

The partners plan to predict and encourage technologies that can help turn Paris airports into true hydrogen hubs. That is to say, the introduction of hydrogen would revolutionize the making of airport infrastructures and their operation.

To initiate this technical revolution through the entire hydrogen supply chain inside the airport city, this open innovation project is a crucial move. Airbus says it has been concentrating its attention on the promise of hydrogen energy. The company initiated the ZEROe program last year. On its part, the Paris region had already introduced its ‘Hydrogen Programme’ in late 2019.

ZEROe concept aircraft – Patrol Flight. Photo: Airbus

Common Ambitions

Between the five partners, there is a common desire: First, to identify and certify scientific advances in hydrogen technology. Secondly, testing of commercially feasible alternatives to fulfill the hydrogen needs of the airport. Thirdly, to take into account the complexities of medium-term hydrogen supply and use on a broader scale. In addition, the operation of hydrogen-fueled prospective aircraft.

Jean-Brice Dumont, executive vice president of engineering at Airbus, adds: “Airbus is determined to drive a bold vision for the future of sustainable aviation and to lead the transition to zero-emission commercial flight.” [Although] “Hydrogen is one of the most promising technologies that will help us meet that objective. [And of course we] won’t be able to do it alone.” [On the other hand] “This revolution will also require our regulatory and infrastructure ecosystems to change worldwide.”

Dumont added, “Airports have a key role to play in enabling that transition, starting today, and we hope that this open innovation initiative will foster the development of creative projects and solutions.”

“We must prepare today to welcome the hydrogen aircraft in 2035 by transforming our airports into real hydrogen hubs, in which we wish to develop various uses, with our stakeholders, around airside and city-side ground mobility,” says Groupe ADP deputy chief Edward Arkwright.

Air France-KLM executive vice-president, corporate secretary, Anne-Sophie Le Lay says the introduction of new energy sources is “fundamental” to shift towards “more sustainable and responsible” air transport.

Featured image: AirbusZEROe Turbofan Concept. Photo: Airbus