Airbus partners with Kansai Airports to promote the use of Hydrogen in aviation

Aviation Updates Philippines – The operator of Osaka's Kansai Airport is partnering with European aircraft manufacturer Airbus to explore the use of hydrogen at three of the group's airports. 

Image: Aerial view of Kansai International Airport (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

In a joint release, both companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which would see Kansai Airports and Airbus prepare a roadmap for the use of hydrogen in the aviation sector across the group airports including Kansai International, Osaka-Itami, and Kobe.

As part of the partnership, Airbus will provide information such as aircraft characteristics, fleet energy usage, and insight on hydrogen-powered aircraft for ground operations. Kansai Airports will study the infrastructure required at the airports for the introduction of hydgrogen-fuelled aircraft.

“We are very pleased to have Kansai Airports, one of Japan's major airport groups, on board,” said St├ęphane Ginoux, Head of North Asia region for Airbus and President of Airbus Japan. “Hydrogen is one of the most promising zero-emission technologies as it can be created from renewable energy and does not produce emissions. Renewable hydrogen will help decarbonise not only aircraft but also all airport-associated ground transport.”

“We have set a target to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 for the three airports we operate, and this partnership with leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus will help us reach this goal,” said Yoshiyuki Yamaya, Representative Director and CEO of Kansai Airports. Benoit Rulleau, Representative Director and Co-CEO, added, “We are glad to extend here in Japan the joint efforts between Airbus and our shareholder VINCI Airports, leading the introduction of hydrogen in airports, to decarbonize air transport. Japan boasts a very active environment in the field of hydrogen development.”

The partnership will the first for Airbus with an airport operator in Japan, though it already has a partnership with Kawasaki Heavy Industries to promote the use of hydrogen in the country.

Airbus is working with VINCI Airports to lead the scale-up of hydrogen use in the aviation industry.