BRISTOL Airport has helped to launch an alliance dedicated in delivering zero carbon aviation.

The airport has joined forces with other leading companies in the UK aviation and renewable energy sectors, including Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Ørsted, and GKN Aerospace to establish the Hydrogen in Aviation (HIA) alliance.

It is hoped that, by focusing more attention on the potential of the direct use of hydrogen, the aviation sector can be decarbonised.

Many companies are already making progress using the alternative-fuel option. Airbus is developing new hydrogen powered aircraft with the aim of entering commercial service from 2035 and Rolls-Royce has already proven that hydrogen could power a jet engine following successful ground tests in 2022.

ZeroAvia and University Hydrogen have already carried out flight tests on hydrogen-powered aircraft.

The alliance will work with the Government to ensure that they focus on three key areas, which are:

  • Supporting the delivery of the infrastructure needed for the UK to be a global leader.
  • Ensuring the aviation regulatory regime is hydrogen ready.
  • Transforming the funding for hydrogen aviation R&D support into a 10 year programme, if the UK is to see the economic benefits and meet decarbonisation targets.

Dave Lees, CEO of Bristol Airport, said: “The potential opportunities of hydrogen flight are huge – most of Bristol Airport’s routes could be served by zero emissions aircraft and our region is uniquely positioned to become a global centre for the new technology, creating thousands of new aerospace jobs.”

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet and first chair of HIA, said: “There is no doubt that the UK has the potential to become a world leader in hydrogen aviation, which could bring with it a £34bn per annum boost to the country’s economy by 2050, but in order to capture this opportunity, rapid change is needed and the time to act is now. 

“We must work together to deliver the radical solutions required for a hard to abate industry like aviation so we can protect and maximise the benefits that it brings to the UK economy and society and that we know British consumers want to be preserved.  

“HIA looks forward to working with the UK Government to ensure the right funding, regulatory and policy changes are implemented to accelerate the delivery of zero carbon aviation.”