The European aerospace manufacturer Airbus, the Paris-based supplier of industrial gases Air Liquide, and French private airport operator VINCI Airports joined their forces seeking to build an airport network in Europe, which will be capable of accommodating hydrogen aircraft in the future.

The three parties agreed for a partnership in the promotion and development of hydrogen use at European airports to “support the future decarbonization of air travel,” as written in the statement issued by Air Liquide on September 21, 2021. Following the agreement Lyon–Saint Exupery Airport (LYS) in France will become the first airport in Europe, where Airbus, Air Liquide, and VINCI will develop various liquid hydrogen infrastructures, which will help the airport to supply hydrogen to jet tanks.

The new concept will be implemented gradually by 2030. In the first phase of the project, which will start in 2023, developers will build a hydrogen distribution station in LYS airport, which will supply hydrogen for the airport‘s ground vehicles, such as handling equipment, trucks, and airside buses. Then, in the next seven years companies plan to continue on the further mass development of liquid hydrogen infrastructures for aircraft fueling operations. 

By 2030, all three partner companies will explore potential opportunities of setting up a network of hydrogen production, storage, and supply facilities across VINCI-controlled airports in Europe, including airports in France, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Sweden.

The freshly-signed commitment between Airbus, Air Liquide, and VINCI Airports comes as “a major step forward for the development of hydrogen across the airport ecosystem,” Air Liquide claimed.