Airbus, easyJet and Rolls-Royce join forces for green fuel
Companies aim to position Britain at the forefront of hydrogen-powered aviation
London — Airbus, easyJet and Rolls-Royce have joined forces to try to position Britain at the forefront of hydrogen-powered aviation as the industry plots its course to decarbonisation.
The partners launched the Hydrogen in Aviation (HIA) alliance on Tuesday to ensure that infrastructure, policy, regulatory and safety frameworks are ready for when the first hydrogen-powered aircraft takes to the skies.
“It would be unforgivable if actually the aircraft were available ready to fly and we could operate them, but [are held] back because some of these policies weren’t really in place,” easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said at a press briefing.
Airbus plans to introduce a hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft by 2035, and Lundgren said he hopes easyJet will be the first customer.
Hydrogen-powered flight is one of several competing technologies being explored as aviation faces a daunting task of reaching net-zero emission targets by 2050. But the fuel’s challenges include securing a ready supply produced from renewable energy, redesigning aircraft for large and heavy tanks, and new infrastructure at airports.
The HIA partners, which include British parts maker GKN Aerospace and Denmark-based green energy company Orsted, said there is a huge amount of work to do to set up the relevant frameworks and they need to work with the government plus aviation and safety regulators.
Before the end of 2023, the HIA said it will produce a report setting out the milestones that need to be met over the next 10 years to make hydrogen flying a reality.
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