Hamburg Airport, one of the busiest airports in Germany, has set its sights on becoming a hydrogen hub for general aviation in the Baltic Sea region.
To achieve this goal, the airport has initiated a consortium and applied for EU funding in the “Interreg Baltic Sea Region Program” to develop a project named “BSR Hydrogen Air Transport – Preparation of Baltic Sea Region Airports for Green Hydrogen.” The project aims to promote sustainable flying, revitalize regional air traffic, and connect rural Baltic Sea regions to existing aviation hubs.
The consortium includes 16 project partners and 24 associated organizations, which comprise almost all major airport operators around the Baltic Sea, regional airlines, technology providers, universities, and authorities. The project’s main objective is to develop the supply chain for green hydrogen from production to the refueling of aircraft or airport ground equipment, as well as test operation. The partnership plans to develop a new network of flight connections and clarify the requirements for airport infrastructure geared towards hydrogen-powered aircraft.
If the project application is successful, the transnational cooperation is planned to start in autumn 2023 and last for three years, taking an important step towards fossil-free flying in the Baltic Sea region. The project’s scope includes the development of infrastructure projects that all airports can invest and implement independently, a crucial step towards sustainable air transport.
Jan Eike Hardegen, Head of Environment at Hamburg Airport, states that “H2 offers great potential for climate-neutral short-haul flights. General aviation with smaller, future hydrogen-powered aircraft is particularly well suited here.” He also points out that hydrogen is the fuel of the future, especially for smaller general aviation aircraft, such as turboprop machines with 20 to 30 seats. The smaller aircraft can be used to connect more rural regions in the countries bordering the Baltic Sea, where there is a need for better air transport connections.