The Hydrogen Consortium has been launched at Christchurch Airport in New Zealand to support zero-emission aviation in the country.

The consortium comprises six international businesses, namely Airbus, Air New Zealand, Fortescue Future Industries, Hiringa Energy and Fabrum, in addition to Christchurch Airport.

The consortium will initially examine the hydrogen supply chain and its challenges, as well as evaluate the local aviation market’s expected hydrogen requirements until 2050.

It will also focus on developing regulations and incentives to facilitate the development of hydrogen aviation. 

The consortium partners will focus on designing a hydrogen ecosystem for aviation in New Zealand in the coming six months. 

Phase one will prioritise research work and is expected to conclude by the end of this year.

As part of its effort to develop a vision for hydrogen aviation in New Zealand, the six companies will focus if hydrogen aircraft trial flights can be held in New Zealand in the second phase.

In order to support this initiative, Hydrogen Consortium is developing a 400ha renewable energy precinct called Kowhai Park.

Christchurch Airport CEO Justin Watson said: “Major progress is being made. There have been successful test flights of zero-emission aircraft already.

“There are new sustainable aviation fuels that can cut emissions by up to 80% and a huge amount of research is going into how to commercialise these solutions. 

“The Hydrogen Consortium will see some of the world’s best experts collaborate on one of the most promising zero emission fuels – green hydrogen.”