Hydrogen-electric aircraft developer ZeroAvia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with hydrogen fuelling firm ZEV Station to create refuelling infrastructure across airports in California, US.

The two companies will focus on developing an initial regional airport project to showcase how hydrogen-electric propulsion systems could deliver zero-emission commercial flights.

ZeroAvia infrastructure vice-president Arnab Chatterjee said: “There is enormous potential for airports to act as hydrogen hubs precisely because there will be significant demand – hydrogen-electric propulsion is the only practical, holistic and economically viable solution to the industry’s full climate impacts.

“California leads the world in the adoption of zero-emission vehicles thanks to forward-thinking policies and deployment of infrastructure, and zero-emission flight infrastructure at airports is the next natural frontier. ZeroAvia’s partnership with ZEV Station is going to be a significant part of that journey.”

Under the MoU, ZeroAvia will provide its research and development expertise in hydrogen production and refuelling for aviation. On the other hand, a team from ZEV Station will offer experience in the provision of gaseous hydrogen for road vehicles to help develop the hydrogen airport refuelling system.

ZeroAvia intends to conduct flight demonstrations of hydrogen-electric aircraft from pilot airports and will be backed by the co-developed refuelling ecosystem and dedicated support from ZEV Station.

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Additionally, ZeroAvia intends to work with industry partners to develop a refuelling ecosystem for hydrogen across global airports.

ZEV Station CTO / CEO Jesse Schneider said: “The time is now to develop the path towards replacing fossil fuels. We see a unique synergy in our ground vehicle ‘hub and spoke’ hydrogen distribution model and aviation.

“For this, we are planning an aircraft fuelling demonstration project together with ZeroAvia, also to increase utilisation of a hydrogen delivery trailer.

“We jointly plan to collaborate to help accelerate fuelling methodologies with public-private-partnerships, such as the newly formed H2-Aero Team at the Vertical Flight Society.”