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easyJet and Partners Complete Ground Breaking Airside Hydrogen Refueling Trial

easyJet and industry partners have successfully completed a ground-breaking airside hydrogen refueling trial at Bristol Airport.  Dubbed ‘Project Acorn’, the trial was in development for over a year, and is the first of its kind at a major UK Airport.

easyJet and industry partners have successfully completed a ground-breaking airside hydrogen refueling trial at Bristol Airport - Courtesy easyJet

On Friday (April 12, 2024), easyJet announced the successful completion ‘Project Acorn’, a ground-breaking airside hydrogen refueling trial, at Bristol Airport, the first trial of its kind at a major UK airport.  During the test, hydrogen was used to refuel and power ground service equipment (GSE), specifically baggage tractors servicing easyJet flights, proving that gas can be safely and reliably used in the busy, live airport environment.  The trial was carried out in partnership with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, Cranfield University, Connected Places Catapult (CPC), DHL Supply Chain, the IAAPS Research Institute, Jacobs, Mulag and TCR. 

In Friday’s announcement, easyJet’s Chief Operating Officer, David Morgan, said,

“It’s without doubt that hydrogen will be an important fuel of the future for short-haul aviation, as demonstrated by the rate of innovation we’re seeing.  While the technology is advancing at an exciting pace, as hydrogen isn’t used in commercial aviation today, there is currently no regulatory guidance in place on how it can and should be used, and so trials like this are very important in building the safety case and providing critical data and insight to inform the development of the industry’s first regulatory framework.  This will ensure regulation not only keeps pace with innovation, but importantly also supports the industry in meeting its decarbonisation targets by 2050.”

Infographic Highlighting Project Acorn Partners in Bristol Airport Hydrogen Trial - Courtesy easyJet

Using the outputs of the trial, the group intends to help develop industry best practice standards, with the goal of providing guidance to airports, airlines, local authorities and regulators on the required infrastructure changes.  The group also intends to support the development of a regulatory framework for the use of hydrogen on an airfield.  Additionally, the data and insights gained in Project Acorn will feed into research that groups such as Hydrogen in Aviation (HIA) are conducting to ensure UK infrastructure, regulations and policy changes keep pace with technological innovations.  It further supports the work of other organizations, including Hydrogen South West (HSW) and Hydrogen Innovation Initiative (HII), the latter having co-funded Project Acorn.


Source: easyJet


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