Incheon prepares for Hydrogen Powered Aircraft

  • February 16, 2022
  • William Payne

Airbus, Korean Air, Incheon International Airport and Air Liquide are collaborating to prepare Incheon International Airport for future hydrogen powered commercial aircraft. The collaboration is in accord with the Korean Government’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

The four companies are preparing a roadmap to first develop hydrogen usages at and around Incheon Airport, and build scenarios to support the deployment of hydrogen ecosystems connected to other Korean airports.

As a second step, the partnership focuses on carrying out studies aimed at defining and developing the required liquid infrastructure at Incheon Airport to prepare the arrival of the first hydrogen-powered aircraft.

Each partner will build on their expertise to help define the potential opportunities that hydrogen offers, and support the decarbonisation of the aviation industry.

Air Liquide will bring its expertise in mastering the entire hydrogen value chain (production, liquefaction, storage and distribution), in particular liquid hydrogen supply.

Airbus will provide characteristics of hydrogen-powered aircraft ground operations as well as aircraft characteristics and fleet energy usage, while Korean Air will provide expertise on ground aircraft operations and aviation management and operations. Incheon International Airport Corporation will provide an airport development plan outlook, along with air traffic characteristics and distribution among terminals, starting with Incheon International Airport, one of the largest and busiest airports in the world.

At Incheon Airport, Air Liquide has invested in two high-capacity hydrogen stations that started up in August 2021, serving hydrogen fuel cell buses, cars and demonstration trucks, and is supplying hydrogen molecules to the stations under a long-term contract.

Francois Abrial, member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee supervising Asia-Pacific, said: “Momentum is building around hydrogen, notably with initiatives to accelerate the development of a more sustainable aviation. South Korea is one of the most active countries in the world for hydrogen activities and we are pleased to participate with our partners in the development of the country’s hydrogen economy. By starting to introduce hydrogen now through mobility projects, and with the ambition of developing liquid hydrogen infrastructures for airports in the future, we are contributing to building a more sustainable future.”