Hydrogen to change aviation in the Channel Islands

An initiative to “change aviation in the Channel Islands” with the use of “clean hydrogen” as early as 2025 has been unveiled by Jersey’s ports authority and Blue Islands.

In order to allow the airline’s fleets to run on hydrogen, Ports of Jersey and Blue Islands have signed a letter of intent with Universal Hydrogen to acquire five ATR-72 conversion kits.

The deal would also let the company offer fuel services utilizing modular capsules at the airport, subject to technical and commercial considerations.

In order to source hydrogen, Ports and Universal Hydrogen will work together, with the latter handling supply and delivery logistics.

Ports stated that it believed the partnership would increase hydrogen demand locally and make sure that new hydrogen infrastructure wouldn’t be a roadblock to decarbonizing aircraft.

The publicly-owned company has joined three consortiums of aviation companies, including engineering companies and airlines, that are competing for a portion of up to £65 million in UK government funding to develop and test upcoming aviation systems and new vehicle technologies.

It anticipates that Jersey will be a desirable location for testing future aviation technology due to its accessibility, the fact that Ports manages the majority of services internally, including air traffic control, and the advantage of the island has its own airspace and civil aviation regulator.

Additional objectives included in Ports’ strategy include:

  • achieving net zero carbon emissions from Ports of Jersey’s own production by 2030;
  • increasing marine ecosystems, such as seagrass beds, by 30% by 2030 in Ports-managed regions;
  • a 20% reduction in water usage, including that of customers and partners, by 2030;
  • assisting corporate partners in reducing their carbon emissions from ports by 30% by 2030;
  • encouraging employees to work on community projects for at least 1,000 hours annually.