European plane manufacturer Airbus and Kansai Airports have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore the use of hydrogen across three airports in Japan - Kansai International Airport, Osaka International Airport, and Kobe Airport.  

Through the partnership. which was announced by Airbus on June 10, 2022, Airbus and Kansai Airports “will leverage their complementary expertise” in order to “define the potential opportunities that hydrogen can offer in support of the decarbonization of the aviation industry,” Airbus explained in a statement. 

“Hydrogen is one of the most promising zero-emission technologies as it can be created from renewable energy and does not produce emissions,” Stéphane Ginoux, head of the North Asia region for Airbus, was cited as saying. “Renewable hydrogen will help decarbonize not only aircraft but also all airport-associated ground transport.” 

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While Airbus will provide aircraft characteristics, fleet energy usage, and insight on hydrogen-powered aircraft for ground operations across KIX, ITM, and UKB airports, Kansai Airports will study the infrastructure development required at the airports for the introduction of hydrogen-fueled planes. 

“We have set a target to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 for the three airports we operate, and this partnership with leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus will help us reach this goal,” said chief executive of Kansai Airports Yoshiyuki Yamaya. “Japan boasts a very active environment in the field of hydrogen development.”  

The partnership marks the first of its kind to be signed with an airport operator Japan.  

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