The UK’s Manchester Airport (MAN), part of Manchester Airports Group (MAG), has collaborated with HyNet, which is set to make it the country’s first airport to have a direct hydrogen fuel pipeline.

The partnership with Hynet, a government-backed industrial decarbonisation project, will allow the airport to supply hydrogen fuel for its airline partners from the mid-2030s.

Manchester Airport reached a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with HyNet’s two founding partners, Progressive Energy and Cadent.

Progressive Energy develops projects to support energy industry decarbonisation, while Cadent will construct and operate HyNet’s hydrogen pipeline network.

Under the MoU, the companies involved will collaborate to evaluate the future demand for hydrogen for the aviation sector and the feasibility of connecting Manchester Airport to HyNet’s regional network.

The latest development follows a year after MAG’s alliance with Fulcrum BioEnergy UK to make Manchester Airport the nation’s first to have a direct sustainable aviation fuel (Saf) supply from the mid-2020s.

With these two agreements in place, Manchester Airport is on track to deliver both SAF and hydrogen to its airline partners.

Manchester Airport managing director Chris Woodroofe said: “This announcement demonstrates the meaningful action we are taking to ensure we can deliver a carbon-free future for the aviation industry.

“The partnership between Manchester Airport and HyNet is a significant step forward for the future use of hydrogen across the North West, building a more sustainable future for the region.

“By securing a direct supply of hydrogen for our airport, our 60 airlines will be able to make use of this exciting and ground-breaking technology as soon as possible.”