Bankstown Airport in Sydney has become the first in Australia to introduce hydrogen fuel for aircraft operating from its facilities in a partnership with aircraft developer AMSL Aero. 

Bankstown’s parent company Aeria Management Group (AMG) is developing infrastructure at the airport to supply hydrogen for AMSL Aero’s vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft Vertiia. 

AMG CEO Daniel Jarosch said: “The landmark development of hydrogen-fuelled aircraft by AMSL Aero at Bankstown Airport puts us in the cockpit for shaping a more sustainable and innovative aviation ecosystem for future generations.” 

AMSL Aero is currently using hydrogen cylinders onsite for its operations at Bankstown, which include testing the Vertiia powertrain on the ground, ahead of the aircraft’s first flights using hydrogen fuel in 2025. 

Bankstown, a primarily business and charter airport, is hoping its partnerships will help it capitalise on Australia’s green aviation ambitions following a Green Paper which claimed the country could position itself as a leader on electric and hydrogen-powered air travel. 

Max York, CEO of AMSL Aero, said: “With AMSL Aero and Bankstown Airport leading the charge in adopting hydrogen as aviation fuel, Australia is poised to play a key role in the global transition towards sustainable aviation. 

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“This partnership is also a vital step towards our goals to improve the lives of Australians in the bush by enabling long-distance, efficient aeromedical, passenger, cargo and firefighting flights.” 

Earlier this year, AMSL Aero received government backing for its VTOL aircraft, with a A$3m ($2m) grant to support the development of a remotely piloted model of Vertiia to fight bushfires in Australia. 

The company’s success highlights the growing interest in hydrogen aviation, which has become a frontrunner for true zero-emission aircraft thanks to investment from start-up companies like AMSL Aero and ZeroAvia and big industry players such as Airbus.