Airbus and Kansai Airports have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore the use of hydrogen at three of the group’s airports in Japan (Kansai International Airport, Osaka International Airport, and Kobe Airport). Through this partnership, Airbus and Kansai Airports will jointly prepare a roadmap to address challenges and define an advocacy plan for hydrogen needs. Both parties would lead the study into the development of infrastructure for the use of hydrogen in the aviation sector.
Each partner will leverage their complementary expertise to help define the potential opportunities that hydrogen can offer in support of the decarbonisation of the aviation industry. Airbus will provide aircraft characteristics, fleet energy usage, and insight on hydrogen-powered aircraft for ground operations. Kansai Airports will study the infrastructure required at the airports for the introduction of hydrogen-fuelled aircraft.
“We are very pleased to have Kansai Airports, one of Japan’s major airport groups, on board,” said Stéphane Ginoux, Head of North Asia region for Airbus and President of Airbus Japan. “Hydrogen is one of the most promising zero-emission technologies as it can be created from renewable energy and does not produce emissions. Renewable hydrogen will help decarbonise not only aircraft but also all airport-associated ground transport.”
“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 Yoshiyuki Yamaya, Representative Director and CEO of Kansai Airports. Benoit Rulleau, Representative Director and Co-CEO, added, “We are glad to extend here in Japan the joint efforts between Airbus and our shareholder VINCI Airports, leading the introduction of hydrogen in airports, to decarbonise air transport. Japan boasts a very active environment in the field of hydrogen development.”
Airbus is already working in partnership with airports around the world including the MoU with VINCI Airports, to lead the scale-up of hydrogen use in the aviation industry. This MoU with Kansai Airports is the first one Airbus has signed with an airport operator in Japan and follows the one signed with Kawasaki Heavy Industries last month to work together towards the realisation of a hydrogen society in Japan.