South Korea-based Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC), along with Air Liquide, Airbus and Korean Air, have entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the use of hydrogen at the airport.

The partners will also focus on the development of airport infrastructure for the deployment of hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft.

Under the MoU, the companies will initially prepare a roadmap for using hydrogen in and around the airport, as well as develop scenarios for creating hydrogen ecosystems connected to other Korean airports.

In the next phase, the companies will conduct studies to define and develop the required liquid infrastructure at Incheon Airport (ICN) to accommodate hydrogen-fuelled aircraft.

The partners will utilise their respective expertise to define the potential opportunities provided by hydrogen in driving aviation decarbonisation.

Under the partnership, Airbus agreed to offer characteristics of hydrogen-driven aircraft ground operations and aircraft characteristics, as well as fleet energy usage.

Korean Air will be responsible for providing its ground aircraft operations and aviation management expertise while IIAC will offer an airport development plan outlook along with air traffic characteristics and distribution among terminals.

Air Liquide will bring its knowledge in optimising the entire hydrogen value chain, especially the liquid hydrogen supply.

Air Liquide Group Asia-Pacific executive committee member Francois Abrial said: “Momentum is building around hydrogen, notably with initiatives to accelerate the development of more sustainable aviation.

“South Korea is one of the most active countries in the world for hydrogen activities and we are pleased to participate with our partners in the development of the country’s hydrogen economy.

“By starting to introduce hydrogen now through mobility projects, and with the ambition of developing liquid hydrogen infrastructures for airports in the future, we are contributing to building a more sustainable future.”

In September 2021, Vinci Airports agreed to work with Airbus and Air Liquide to support hydrogen usage at airports.