Vinci Airports has agreed to work with Airbus and Air Liquide to expedite the decarbonisation of the aviation sector by promoting the usage of hydrogen at airports.

Vinci Airports, Airbus and Air Liquide have selected Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS) in France as the pilot airport. The airport is expected to deploy the first installations as early as 2023.

Overall, the project will be implemented in several phases.

The three partners aim to establish a hydrogen gas distribution station at Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport by 2023. This facility will supply hydrogen to the airport’s ground vehicles, as well as the heavy goods vehicles that drive around the airport.

Between 2023 and 2030, the three companies aim to deploy liquid hydrogen infrastructures to supply hydrogen into the tanks of future aircraft.

After 2030, the partners will focus on the deployment of the hydrogen infrastructure from production to mass distribution of liquid hydrogen at the airport.

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The partnership will leverage Air Liquide’s expertise in the hydrogen value chain while Airbus will share its knowledge on commercial aircraft.

Additionally, Vinci Airports, Airbus and Air Liquide have agreed to create the European airport network to accommodate future hydrogen aircraft.

As part of the initiative, they will examine whether it is possible to equip Vinci Airports’ European airport network with hydrogen production, storage and supply facilities by the end of this decade.

In a statement, Vinci Airports said: “The new partnership illustrates the partners’ shared commitment to decarbonising air travel and is a major step forward for the development of hydrogen across the airport ecosystem.”

In June, Vinci Concessions’ subsidiary Vinci Airports opened a new base for British airline easyJet and unveiled an in-airport solar plant at Faro Airport (FAO), Portugal.