Speaking at the recent H2 View India Hydrogen Snap Summit, he said: “Hydrogen is a foundational molecule and has the ability to decarbonise multiple sectors. Its availability allows this sector coupling to happen, and beneficial for managing power, steel and cement.

“Aviation can ‘piggyback’ off this larger growth in the innovation space, rather than solely focusing on SAF (sustainable aviation fuels) and the aviation market itself.”

Driven by positive policies and regulations, he said there was an emerging ‘force field of the coalition of the willing’.

“Airports are under obligations from shareholders to create zero emissions environments, and as the direction of travel through COP is increased, the decarbonisation requirements continue to ramp up.”

ZeroAvia has recently signed a series of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with American Airlines, Ravn Alaska and The Red Sea Development Company.

The agreements will explore, respectively, American taking up an order of up to 100 hydrogen-electric engines; 30 SZ2000 powertrains retrofitted onto Ravn Alaska’s De Havilland Dash-8 fleet; and testing and developing zero-emission travel at the new luxury tourism project in Saudi Arabia.

ZeroAvia is preparing to test flight its 600-kW ZA600 hydrogen-electric powertrain, which it says could be used to convert a 19-seat aircraft capable of flying up to 300 miles (480 km). It aims to start commercial operations by 2024.

It announced a collaboration with Edmonton International Airport (EIA) in June, to explore opportunities to develop the hydrogen infrastructure required for delivering zero-emission flights and decarbonising ground operations.

Under the agreement, EIA will work with ZeroAvia to develop hydrogen infrastructure at both the main airport and Villeneuve Airport. The partnership targets exploring the use of hydrogen for decarbonisation of aircraft operations, and also the wider airport ecosystem.

ZeroAvia will leverage its experience in developing and operating its Hydrogen Airport Refuelling Ecosystem (HARE). The partners will begin with gaseous hydrogen as a fuel, whilst exploring a shift to liquid hydrogen—necessary to support aircraft above 50 seats.

The first step will be to conduct a pilot program which will fuel a demonstrator aircraft and other operations with the deployed hydrogen ecosystem, which will be followed by establishing commercial routes.

EIA claims to be building ‘the world’s largest solar farm’ at an airport, which is set to begin construction late 2022.

In another collaboration, strategic investor Shell will design and build two commercial-scale mobile refuellers for use at ZeroAvia’s research and development site in Hollister, California.