© Airbus
© Airbus

HIA report a ‘vital component in decarbonising the aviation sector,’ says easyJet CEO

The Hydrogen in Aviation (HIA) alliance has listed five recommendations to meet and ensure the UK becomes a “global leader” in the industry.

Established by easyJet, Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Ørsted, GKN Aerospace, Bristol Airport and ZeroAvia, the HIA has released the Milestone Delivery Report to address the changes needed in the short, medium and long-term.

The report recommends:

  • Measures are taken to support the transition from research to development and industrialisation of propulsion and flight technologies in the UK.
  • The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is appropriately resourced and funded with the capacity to lead on certification, standard-setting, and new regulation – working in coordination with other bodies and the academic community.
  • Build a well-developed network of “hydrogen-ready” airports in the UK and overseas.
  • Government to provide the necessary support and incentives needed to address the transition costs and infrastructure investment challenges.
  • Scale-up both hydrogen production capacity and renewable power, carbon capture and low-carbon hydrogen generation to ensure aviation can decarbonise.
  • Government and industry to work together to equip the UK’s workforce with the appropriate skills and ensure industry-readiness to support the transition to new technology.

Johan Lundgren, the CEO of easyJet and first Chair of HIA, claimed the report will be a “vital component in decarbonising the aviation sector.”

“The breakthroughs in hydrogen-powered technology happening across the UK are truly astonishing, but these advances will be inconsequential if we fail to complement them with the appropriate skills, infrastructure, investment and regulation needed to support hydrogen aviation,” the CEO added.

The HIA expects that by 2035, the CAA should be “appropriately resourced to address the challenges outlined,” and should also take a critical role in representing the UK in working with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and Federal Aviation Administration, to drive standards and regulations.

In order the hurdle the infrastructure challenge, HIA has recommended that the government should update its guidance on the development of airport masterplans to consider future hydrogen infrastructure needs, stating every airport should have a “broader hydrogen-ready plan.”

“Having hydrogen refuelling infrastructure at airports, operated by a skilled workforce, is critical to the success of zero emissions flight,” explained Dave Lees, CEO of Bristol Airport.

By 2050, a full network of hydrogen-ready airports are expected to be in place, along with a supply of renewable electricity available for hydrogen production and liquefaction.

Mark Bentall, Head of Research and Technology at Airbus, claimed the company is focused on getting a hydrogen-powered aircraft in the air by 2035, whilst Robert Duncalf, Head of Commercial P2X at Ørsted, stated “De-fossilisation will only be achieved through innovation and focussed investment from industry and government.”

You can read more about the hydrogen-powered aviation industry in H2 View’s upcoming April magazine, our 50th edition! Hear from industry innovators, such as Universal Hydrogen, or get involved by contacting H2 View.

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