A consortium led by Glasgow Airport and net zero consulting co-developer Ikigai, has secured funding from the Scottish Government to test the feasibility of a hydrogen production, storage and distribution hub that would support zero emission flight at the airport.

The funding forms part of the Scottish Government’s £7m Hydrogen Innovation Scheme, which aims to support the development of renewable hydrogen technologies and position Scotland as a pioneer in the development of hydrogen fuels.

The Glasgow Airport Hydrogen Innovation Hub project will determine the most efficient, bankable, green hydrogen production, storage and refuelling solutions and assess the operational feasibility of a hydrogen hub at the airport.

Jon Matthews, Group Head of Capital Investment at AGS Airports, which operates Glasgow said: “Hydrogen powered aircraft have the potential to completely revolutionise aviation, particularly on regional and short-haul routes. Airline manufacturers are making tangible progress on zero emission flight and as an airport operator, it is important we start to plan for hte delivery, storag and generation of hydrogen.”

He added that the funding will allow the consortium to bring together a diverse group of companies to address the unique challenges of storing hydrogen safely and at scale within an airport environment.

Other consortium stakeholders include AI and solid-state storage technology company H2GO Power, developer of hydrogen-electric power-trains for aircraft ZeroAvia, global strategic environmental and engineering consulting Ricardo, system integrator Altrad Babcock European green fuels retail OG Clean Fuels and two airlines (easyJet and Loganair).

The project is targeted for completion by early 2024, with the long-term goal of applying this world-first concept to other regional airports to create a UK network of hydrogen-ready airports, including Aberdeen and Southampton (the other two hubs in AGS’ portfolio).

Helena Anderson, Co-founder of Ikigai added to Matthews’ comments saying: “Hydrogen has a critical role to play in the decarbonisation of, in particular, regional aviation. Glasgow’s ‘back to base’ island routes make it the ideal location for hydrogen aviation to take-off. This hub will ensure that Glasgow Airport has a safe, secure and cost-efficient green fuel supply, as the industry transitions to Net Zero. Glasgow is the first airport in, what we believe will be, a world-leading hydrogen aviation network attracting regional investment, jobs, skills and growth.”

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