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Airbus, Avinor, SAS, Swedavia and Vattenfall Partner to Deliver Hydrogen Aviation in Sweden and Norway

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by Airbus, Avinor, SAS, Swedavia and Vattenfall to explore the feasibility of creating hydrogen infrastructure at airports in Sweden and Norway.

Turboprop Concept of Airbus’ ZEROe Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft at Airport - Courtesy Airbus

On Wednesday (January 31, 2024), Airbus announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Avinor, SAS, Swedavia and Vattenfall to investigate the feasibility of building out hydrogen infrastructure and airports in Norway and Sweden.  This partnership will help to provide better understanding of hydrogen aircraft concepts, operations supply, airport infrastructure needs, and regulatory frameworks, in order to develop a hydrogen aviation ecosystem in both countries.  This is a first of its kind feasibility study covering over 50 airports in two countries, and supports the industry’s decarbonization goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

In Wednesday’s announcement, Airbus’ CEO, Guillaume Faury, said,

“Hydrogen stands out as a key enabler as we pioneer a sustainable aviation future.  Norway and Sweden are among the most demanding regions for aviation and have great potential for hydrogen production from renewable energy sources.  I am very pleased to enter into this cooperation with partners fully engaged to take significant steps towards decarbonising aerospace.  It fits perfectly with our strategy of deploying hydrogen aviation ecosystems in the most suitable parts of the world.”

Also commenting on the new hydrogen collaboration, Avinor’s CEO, Abraham Foss, said,

“Hydrogen is emerging as a key energy carrier in future fossil free aviation.  As the owner and operator of 43 airports across Norway, Avinor has been working on sustainability for many years already, and has taken a position as a driving force and facilitator for the green transition of Norwegian aviation.  Our dialogue with Airbus concerning the decarbonization of aviation goes several years back and we are very happy to be able to announce this collaboration together with our good neighbors in Sweden.  Norway, as well as Sweden, is well positioned to be an early mover in the introduction of hydrogen-powered aircraft.  We look forward to contributing with our expertise as well as infrastructure to bring this important work forward.”

SAS’ President and CEO, Anko van der Werff, added,

“As the world takes positive steps towards a more sustainable future, SAS’ commitment is to ensure that also coming generations can enjoy the benefits of seamless global connectivity.  By partnering with some of the strongest and most innovative players in the industry, we are assuming our responsibility to drive the transition towards achieving net-zero emissions.  A journey that matters not just for SAS, but for the entire aviation industry.”

Further commenting on the new partnership, Swedavia’s President and CEO, Jonas Abrahamsson, said,

“We are very excited to be part of a larger partnership on the role of hydrogen in aviation together with Airbus, Avinor, SAS and Vattenfall.  Swedavia, Avinor and SAS already have established successful collaborations in fossil-free aviation, and it is therefore exciting that Airbus, with its extensive knowledge of hydrogen-powered aircraft through its ZEROe initiative, and Vattenfall, with its expertise in electricity and energy production, are joining us in a more in-depth collaboration.  Hydrogen is expected to gradually become an increasing part of the aviation industry's fuel mix in the future and will therefore have an increasing effect on the infrastructure and planning of our airports.  This partnership is a major and important step towards fossil-free aviation in the Nordic region and will further strengthen Swedavia's role as a front-runner in fossil-free aviation, while at the same time taking another important step in the transition within the aviation industry.”

Vattenfall’s President and CEO, Anna Borg, added,

”We want to enable industry decarbonization. Aviation is a hard to abate industry where breaking away from fossil fuels is a huge challenge today.  This cross border collaboration however demonstrates the willingness to bring about change.  We look forward to contributing with expertise in electricity market development, electrical infrastructure, and hydrogen production in Sweden.”

In 2020, Airbus unveiled their first ZEROe concept, with the goal of bringing the world’s first hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft to market by 2035.  Currently, development of the required technology is underway in a global Research & Technology network.  Additionally, Airbus has launched the ‘Hydrogen Hub at Airports’ program to jumpstart research into infrastructure requirements and low-carbon airport operations across the value chain.  So far, agreements have been signed with airport and partners in 10 countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden and the UK.


Source: Airbus


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