Hamburg Airport has become the first in Germany to join the Hydrogen Hub at Airports network to collaborate on researching the potential of hydrogen as an aviation fuel. 

The network is run by aircraft manufacturer Airbus and already includes members from 11 countries in Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region working to develop the infrastructure needed for use of the gas on a wide scale as a sustainable alternative to jet fuel. 

Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO of Hamburg Airport, said: “We are thrilled that Hamburg Airport is working together on equal terms with such international hubs as Paris – Charles de Gaulle and Changi Airport in Singapore as we make these decisive preparations for an energy transition in air travel.” 

The airport’s involvement in the network also comes just over a week after it outlined a roadmap on developing hydrogen infrastructure with the German Aerospace Centre, looking to leverage its position with connections to the North and Baltic Seas and it network of short and medium-haul flights. 

However, joining the hydrogen network is also being seen as an opportunity for the airport to expand its reach with Eggenschwiler highlighting Airbus’s hydrogen-powered ZEROe aircraft in development which will need airports to be ready for its use by airlines. 

Nicole Dreyer-Langlet, member of the Airbus Germany executive board responsible for research and technology, echoed this idea, saying: “Handling aircraft with hydrogen power will become as commonplace as refuelling them with kerosene is today. 

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“We are doing our bit to make this happen, but we depend on seamless cooperation with the airport specialists.” 

Though Hamburg has been near the forefront of the airport industry’s efforts to reduce emissions, becoming commercially carbon neutral in 2021 and aiming to reduce its emissions to zero by 2035, it saw a number of flights disrupted by climate protestors earlier this year calling for the German Government to remove kerosene tax exemptions.