Air Liquide, Airbus and Groupe ADP have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to prepare for the arrival of hydrogen in airports by 2035 as part of the development of hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft. The partners will leverage their respective expertise to support the decarbonization of the aviation industry and to define the concrete needs and opportunities that hydrogen can bring to the aeronautics sector. This partnership reflects the three partners’ shared ambition to contribute to the emergence of an innovative and strategic French sector dedicated to achieving climate-neutral aviation worldwide.
To prepare for the arrival of the first hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft by 2035, airports will need to be adapted, in particular to include the specificity of liquid hydrogen supply. The partnership announced today focuses on carrying out feasibility studies aimed at developing this infrastructure.
As a first step, a study involving a representative panel of around 30 airports worldwide will be launched to assess potential configurations for liquid hydrogen production, supply and distribution. Detailed scenarios and plans will then be drawn up for the two main Paris airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. These scenarios will be essential in defining the required infrastructure, including scope and location, and in identifying and integrating the constraints relative to both industrial and aviation safety standards.
This partnership brings together complementary expertise with the ambition to support – starting today – the transformation of airports and to pave the way for a new era of sustainable air travel.
Matthieu Giard, Vice President, member of the Executive Committee, supervising Hydrogen activities, said:
“Air Liquide recently announced ambitious commitments to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. We must act now, notably by accelerating the development of the hydrogen sector and preparing the future. To the aviation industry, Air Liquide brings its unique expertise in the hydrogen supply chain, in particular with regards to liquid hydrogen, which requires advanced mastery of extreme cryogenics. This partnership, led by three major players, reflects a shared desire to accelerate the energy transition and to build the future for a more sustainable aviation.”
Antoine Bouvier, Airbus Head of Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions and Public Affairs, added:
“This partnership between an aircraft manufacturer, an airport authority and a hydrogen expert is an important and necessary step to prepare for the entry-into-service of a zero-emission aircraft by 2035. By starting to introduce hydrogen at Paris airports now, we underscore the shared ambition of an entire ecosystem to make the decarbonization of the aviation sector possible and to achieve our emissions-reduction targets.”
And Edward Arkwright, Groupe ADP Deputy CEO, concluded:
“With our partners, we are ready to launch feasibility studies to enable the gradual introduction of hydrogen at Paris airports. We must prepare – starting today – to welcome hydrogen aircraft by 2035 by transforming our airports into hydrogen hubs, which, along with other solutions, such as sustainable aviation fuel, will enable the decarbonization of air travel.”
The partners' commitment to hydrogen
For Air Liquide
In full support of the 2015 Paris agreement, the Air Liquide commitments address the urgency of climate change and energy transition, targeting carbon neutrality by 2050. As a pioneer in hydrogen, the Group is convinced that hydrogen is a cornerstone of the energy transition. In the past 50 years, the Group has developed unique expertise enabling it to master the entire supply chain, from production and storage to distribution, contributing to the widespread use of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier for a wide range of applications such as industrial usages and clean mobility. Air Liquide is committed to reaching several goals, investing approximately 8 billion Euro in the low-carbon hydrogen full value chain by 2035, and a total of 3-GW electrolysis capacity by 2030.
At Airbus, we are committed to leading the decarbonization of the aerospace sector. This includes reducing the CO2 emissions of our aircraft, satellites and launch vehicles, as well as our industrial environmental footprint at sites worldwide and throughout our supply chain. To this end, we are contributing to meet key industry-wide environmental performance targets. We are also focused on delivering on our ambition to bring the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft to market by 2035.
For Groupe ADP
The Group brings together a unique ecosystem to enable the gradual introduction of hydrogen at Paris airports. We must prepare – starting today – to welcome hydrogen aircraft by 2035 by transforming our airports into hydrogen hubs, in which we can develop multiple uses, alongside our stakeholders, around land mobility. The deployment of hydrogen, along with other solutions, such as sustainable aviation fuel, aims to accelerate the decarbonization of air travel.