The "BSR HyAirport" project has officially commenced, bringing together 16 airports, airlines, research institutions, and technology companies from Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Poland, and Germany. They collaborate with 24 Associated Organisations to shape the future of aviation. The project's work packages aim to create the pre-conditions for hydrogen-powered flights over the next three years, with the goal of enabling the first demonstration flights in the Baltic Sea region within this decade.
The EU supports "BSR HyAirport" through the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Program with a total of approximately 3.8 million euros distributed among various partners. The project seeks to establish applications of hydrogen technology in aviation. Gaseous green hydrogen is initially well-suited as a fuel for flights over shorter distances, making it particularly suitable for flight connections in the Baltic Sea Region. Regular air traffic with regional aircraft of up to approximately 80 seats is expected in this decade.
Project partners aim to develop, test, and evaluate practical solutions to facilitate the application of this key technology for airports and airlines. Simultaneously, they will prepare for challenges such as storage, handling, and provision of green hydrogen. One of the goals is to facilitate demonstration flights during the project duration between partner airports in collaboration with airlines. This requires project partners to be prepared for the specific requirements of handling hydrogen-powered aircraft.
Furthermore, the project partnership will address legal frameworks, the entire supply chain, including potential local production, hydrogen transport to airports, hydrogen storage, and aircraft refueling. Another work package will investigate and test additional uses of hydrogen at airports, such as ground handling services.
"The BSR HyAirport Project is a significant step for us on our path towards the aviation industry's energy transition," explains Jan Eike Blohme-Hardegen, Head of the Environmental Department at Hamburg Airport. "There are still many questions to be answered before the regular use of hydrogen. We are glad to do this in close collaboration with partners who are just as committed to finding answers as we are." The transition of part of the ground handling services to hydrogen propulsion is a crucial component of the "Net Zero 2035" project, through which Hamburg Airport aims to be carbon-neutral in ground operations by 2035. Hamburg Airport is also actively involved in numerous national and international projects concerning the introduction of hydrogen as an energy carrier in aviation.