Set to decarbonise both the airport itself and the wider aviation sector, the group will support both the deployment of hydrogen ecosystems to support ground operations and hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft.
It is believed the above will be carried out in two steps: Firstly, the group will develop a roadmap to first develop hydrogen uses at and around Incheon Airport and then they will focus on the needed infrastructure to support hydrogen flights.
This, however, is not the first move Incheon Airport has made in the hydrogen space. Already ahead of the game when it comes to hydrogen, the airport boasts two operational high-capacity hydrogen stations, which were started up in August last year (2021) with support from Air Liquide.
Francois Abrial, member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee supervising Asia-Pacific, said, “Momentum is building around hydrogen, notably with initiatives to accelerate the development of a more sustainable aviation.
“South Korea is one of the most active countries in the world for hydrogen activities and we are pleased to participate with our partners in the development of the country’s hydrogen economy.
“By starting to introduce hydrogen now through mobility projects, and with the ambition of developing liquid hydrogen infrastructures for airports in the future, we are contributing to building a more sustainable future.”
Under the signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), each party will have a key role to play. Air Liquide will focus on the entire value chain, with a specific focus on liquid hydrogen supply and Airbus will share expertise on hydrogen-powered aircraft ground operations.
Further to that, Korean air will focus on ground aircraft operations and aviation management and operations and Incheon International Airport Corporation will provide an airport development plan outlook – and of course be the host of the project.
The commitment comes at a time when multiple flight operators are being to consider hydrogen as a future fuel for aeroplanes, and therefore need airports to get on board with the transition.
Part of the group, Airbus has already committed to having its first hydrogen-powered aircraft in the air by 2025. easyJet has also committed to the use of hydrogen to decarbonise its operations and, in fact, recently spoke exclusively to H2 View about this.
Specifically for Korea, the move also supports the government’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
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