Groupe ADP, Air France-KLM and Airbus team up to transform Paris airports into hydrogen hubs


Paris region, Groupe ADP, Air France-KLM and Airbus are teaming up to support developments that will enable airports in Paris to transform into hydrogen hubs.

Paris region, Groupe ADP, Air France-KLM and Airbus have launched a call for expressions of interest to explore the opportunities generated by hydrogen in Paris airports with the aim to decarbonise air transport activities.

All five partners will support developments that will enable airports in Paris to transform into hydrogen hubs, revolutionising the way airport infrastructure is designed and operated.

Edward Arkwright, Deputy CEO of Groupe ADP, commented: “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.”

The partnership aims to identify and qualify advances in research and technologies, and to test the economically viable solutions that will meet the needs of hydrogen at an airport. The partners also aim to establish the uses of hydrogen on a wider scale, with potential to operate hydrogen-powered aircraft in the future.

The initiative invites collaboration from major corporations, SMEs, start-ups, laboratories and universities with the aim to build a unique airport ecosystem federated around hydrogen.

The 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 fueling, 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 11 February to 19 March, 2021, via h2hubairport.com and selected projects will be disclosed at the end of April.

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.”

Airbus’ Executive Vice President Engineering Jean-Brice Dumont, also commented: “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 the 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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