Will Paris’s Airports be “Hydrogen Hubs by 2035?”

by Emma Drew
Airbus zero e concept

Aerospace pioneer, Airbus, recently raised an expression of interest in driving forward their proposed plans for exploring the use of liquid-hydrogen at Parisian airports. Calling upon partners and manufacturers from around the globe, Airbus has set an ambition to be the first to develop a hydrogen commercial aircraft in a bid to decarbonise air transport.

Plane with a view of Eiffel Tower

Window of airplane with sight to Eiffel Tower in Paris

Discussions have been centred around safety and storage, transportation and distribution of hydrogen at airports. Airbus has plans to work closely with key partners including the Paris region, Groupe ADP and Air France-KLM, who each share a common goal, to build a unique airport ecosystem based around hydrogen, with a longer-term view to operate a future hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft. In addition, Airbus plans to build a network of parties, including major corporations, SMEs and universities, in order to attract the best research and technologies to deliver the “hydrogen dream”.  

Airbus A350

Airbus A350 front on plane

The French Government are also in agreement with the concept; as it complies with the government’s energy transition strategy to operate zero-emission aircrafts from the city’s major airports by 2035 and also supports the recent European Commission Aviation’s 2050 strategy towards sourcing sustainable alternative to air fuel. This would be a major breakthrough in technological innovation for the city’s aviation, where Hydrogen would revolutionise the way airport infrastructures are designed and operated.  

Jean-Brice Dumont, Executive Vice President Engineering at Airbus, commented,

“Airbus is determined to drive a bold vision for the future of sustainable aviation, and to lead the transition to zero-emission commercial flight. Hydrogen is the one of the most promising technologies that will help us meet that objective – but we won’t be able to do it alone. This revolution will also require our regulatory and infrastructure ecosystems to change worldwide.

“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.”

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

Applications for new initiatives can apply from 11 February to 19 March, 2021, via h2hubairport.com and selected projects will be disclosed at the end of April.

While flying hydrogen operated aircraft is still just “pie in the sky”, could this be a significant step towards the future of sustainable aviation? Let us know in the comments below.   

For more information on the subject of hydrogen aircraft read our article on – Fuels for the future: British Airways converts waste and Airbus burns hydrogen.  

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