Paris region, Groupe ADP, Air France-KLM, and Airbus are launching a call for expressions of interest to explore the opportunities generated by hydrogen in Paris airports with the aim to decarbonize air transport activities.
This worldwide call for expressions of interest complies with the French government’s energy transition strategy and supported by the European Commission, which strives for zero-emission aircraft by 2035.
Aware that the advent of hydrogen will revolutionize the way airport infrastructures are designed and operated, the partners want to anticipate and support developments that should help transform the Paris airports into true "hydrogen hubs".
The international call for expressions of interest – launched with the support of the international agency Choose Paris Region agency, in charge of the international promotion and attractiveness of Paris Region – aims to build a unique airport ecosystem federated around hydrogen, major corporations, SMEs, start-ups, laboratories and universities.
This open innovation initiative is a key step to initiate this technological breakthrough across the entire hydrogen value chain within the airport city.
The five partners share a common ambition: to identify and qualify research advances in research and technologies, and then to test the economically viable solutions that will meet the needs of hydrogen at an airport, to prepare in the medium term the challenges of its supplies and uses in a larger scale, particularly with a view to operate a future hydrogen-powered aircraft.
This unprecedented call for expressions of interest focuses on three main themes:
• Storage, transport and distribution of hydrogen (gaseous and liquid) in an airport environment (storage systems, micro-liquefaction, aircraft fuelling, etc.);
• Diversification of hydrogen use cases in airports and in aeronautics (ground handling vehicles and equipment, rail transport at airports, energy supply for buildings or aircraft during ground operations, etc.);
• Circular economy around hydrogen (recovery of hydrogen dissipated during liquid hydrogen fuelling, recovery of a by-product from a reaction to produce decarbonated hydrogen, etc.).
Applications will be open from February 11th to March 19th, 2021, via the website h2hubairport.com and selected projects will be disclosed at the end of April.
Regarding this, Edward Arkwright, Deputy CEO of Groupe ADP said: "we are ready, with our partners, to federate a unique ecosystem to make possible the progressive integration of hydrogen at Paris airports. 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. Alongside other solutions, such as sustainable alternative fuels, the deployment of hydrogen aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of air transport."
Anne-Sophie Le Lay, Executive Vice President, Corporate Secretary Air France-KLM, said: "the support for research and development and the use of new energies is fundamental to move towards a more sustainable and responsible air transport. This call for expressions of interest brings together leading partners to lay the foundations of an innovative and ambitious ecosystem."
Jean-Brice Dumont, Executive Vice President Engineering at Airbus, said: "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 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.”
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